Jat quota stir in Haryana: After failing to control violence, police botched up probe too
Of 909 FIRs lodged at 7 police stations in Rohtak, epicentre of agitation, cops could not trace accused in 851 cases.india Updated: Jul 18, 2017 11:33 IST
After having failed to control large-scale violence and destruction during the February 2016 Jat quota stir, the Haryana Police also botched up their investigation, highlighting a systemic apathy in the department towards the victims or their sheer incompetence.
An examination of records of police investigation after the agitation reveals the way in which the department floundered while dealing with an unprecedented violence that the state has ever witnessed.
Hindustan Times examined 909 of some 1,200-odd FIRs registered at seven police stations of Rohtak district, the epicentre of the agitation. Of these 909 FIRs, the police have filed 851 (93%) reports as “untraced”, i.e. they could not trace the accused and hence the investigation did not reach anywhere. The district has a total of 10 police stations.
This also vindicates the report of the state government-appointed Prakash Singh Committee, which investigated the department’s working during the agitation and had indicted several cops for dereliction of duty or cowardice.
These FIRs include cases of loot and arson of private properties besides murders of innocent people who were caught in the crossfire between violent mobs and security forces.
The Kalanaur police station in Rohtak rural area performed the worst as in 377 cases registered, the police managed to arrest only four people. While three challans were submitted in court, 370 cases were filed as “untraced” and the remaining four cases were cancelled due to doubling of FIRs.
Of a total of 110 cases registered at the Urban Estate police station, 95 arrests were made and as many as 40 people were held in the case involving loot and arson at state finance minister Captain Abhimanyu’s residence in Sector 14. The police formed a special investigation team to probe arson at the minister’s house.
In all, the police station submitted challans in only eight cases, while 100 cases have been filed as “untraced”.
Retired Haryana director general (DG)-rank officer VN Rai, who conducted an independent probe into the agitation and released a report in which he demanded strict action against the guilty, said, “It is still understandable if the FIRs related to road blockade and other minor offences were filed as “untraced”. But if the police are not able to trace accused in cases of arson, destruction and murders, it speaks volumes about their working. They should have taken people in confidence to make headway in such cases, given the fact they were missing from ground during the stir.”
Sources in the department said they received several CCTV footages and other videos shot by people and they could have helped the police identify the culprits. In many cases, police teams even faced backlash after villagers opposed arrests by taking them hostage and creating other hurdles, they said.
- Cases examined: 909
- Arrests made: 162
- Accused ‘untraced’: 851 cases
- Challans filed: 37
- Cases cancelled (due to doubling): 16