It could have been much worse: Haryana CM Khattar defends handling of Dera violence | india-news | Hindustan Times
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It could have been much worse: Haryana CM Khattar defends handling of Dera violence

Violence broke out there after Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s conviction in rape cases, leaving 35 people dead. Six others died in incidents of violence in Sirsa.

india Updated: Sep 03, 2017 19:56 IST
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar is facing criticism for alleged mishandling of Dera violence.
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar is facing criticism for alleged mishandling of Dera violence. (HSaumya Khandelwal)

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who has been facing heat over his management of the Dera issue, on Sunday said the violence by the sect’s supporters could have turned much worse had the government not been alert.

Khattar told reporters that the state government had taken steps after due consideration in compliance with the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

“Had the government had not been alert, the situation could have been much worse,” he said in Karnal.

Read more: Haryana CM Khattar admits to lapses in handling Dera situation

The Haryana government had come under attack for allowing a huge build up of Dera Sacha Sauda followers in Panchkula.

Violence broke out there after Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s conviction in rape cases, leaving 35 people dead. Six others died in incidents of violence in Sirsa.

Ram Rahim was later sentenced to 20 years in prison.

On August 30, Khattar, had ruled out his resignation after meeting BJP chief Amit Shah in Delhi, saying his government had acted with “restraint” in handling the situation.

Read more: Cults such as Ram Rahim’s must not be allowed to become such a public nuisance

Khattar also told reporters that he would contest the next election from Karnal as the people of the constituency have accorded him a lot of respect.

At the same time, he added he would accept whatever the party decides in this regard.

Khattar (63) is a first-time legislator from Karnal. He became the chief minister when BJP came to power for the first time on its own in Haryana in October 2014.

He said the Haryana government would also organise a programme on the completion of three years of its tenure.

“The programme would be organised on a grand scale between October 26 and November 1. The venue would be decided later by the committee concerned,” he said.