Jat quota violence: Judicial officers question cops’ role, say dept lacks sincerity

  • Surender Sharma, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jul 24, 2016 12:43 IST
The reports submitted by local magistrates of at least eight districts before the Punjab and Haryana high court have found that in most FIRs probe has been “improper and lacked sincere efforts”. (HT File Photo)

The huge damages and widespread criticism of their role during the violent Jat quota stir notwithstanding, even after five months, the Haryana Police have not made “sincere efforts” to nab the accused.

The reports submitted by local magistrates of at least eight districts before the Punjab and Haryana high court have found that in most first information reports (FIRs), including that of damage to the Rohtak house of finance minister Captain Abhimanyu, the probe has been “improper and lacked sincere efforts”.

Read more | Jat stir violence: Clear stand on Prakash Singh panel, HC directs Haryana

As many as 2,110 FIRs were registered by the state police for February protests, including 1,199 in the epicentre Rohtak alone. In most FIRs, the judicial officers are not happy with the probe.

“Investigation till today is not proper as police have not made sincere efforts to trace the unknown accused as mentioned in the FIR,” says the report of Rohtak judicial magistrate Deepti in the FIR registered at the Urban Estate police station in Rohtak on arson at Abhimanyu’s residence.

The 544-page report prepared by eight judicial officers on 1,199 FIRs of Rohtak reveals that only in 22 cases either the probe was “satisfactory” or challan had been presented. In other cases, investigation had not been “proper and lacking sincere efforts”.

“What would they (police) do in other cases, when they have failed in bringing those guilty to book who destroyed (their) own minister’s house. Also since British days, whenever police stations and police posts were targeted, the state’s might have descended upon its perpetrators. Here they are even failing in indentifying them,” senior advocate Anupam Gupta, who is assisting the high court in the matter, told the court.

Over 10 days, violent protests were witnessed in at least eight districts, including Rohtak, Bhiwani, Jind, Sonepat, Jhajjar and Hisar, in which at least 30 people lost their lives. The high court had sought reports from area magistrates of these districts on June 1.

‘Case diaries manipulated’

In Sonepat’s Gohana, where 106 FIRs were registered, the judicial magistrate found manipulations in dates recorded in ‘zimnis’ (case diaries) to the extent that he recorded that there could be a deliberate attempt to derail the probe. “There were cuttings in the dates of ‘zimnis’. These cuttings in dates are handwritten and these are not typographical errors. If these are cases of negligence, the fate of these can easily be deducted. It shows that either there is lack of seriousness and competence or there is a deliberate attempt to do something, which will ultimately lead to no conclusion,” additional civil judge Manglesh Kumar Choubey says in his report.

‘Cops delaying probe’

In view of the cowardice and intentional dereliction of duty by the police, right from the investigating officer (IO) to the deputy superintendent of police (DSP), it is no surprise that no person has been arrested in the case so far, records Bhiwani additional chief judicial magistrate Anmol Singh Nayal, adding that neither the SP nor director general of police (DGP) has cared to take stock of the investigation and effort appears to be of “delay and destruction” of case tactics.

‘No action against Jat leaders’

The state’s complicity with Jat leaders was pointed out by Anupam Gupta in court and said a person who had been booked for sedition was holding parleys with the government and attending meetings. Similar instances have been referred to by Ganaur additional chief judicial magistrate Amit Sharma, who in the progress report of an FIR said: “The accused are prominent leading members of the Jat agitation and they are still actively involved in the present agitation, but they still have not been arrested... (All India Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti president) Yashpal Malik is regularly appearing on TV channels. No effective steps were taken and no warrant of arrest or proclamation proceedings against him initiated.” The report was about an FIR registered in Panipat on February 19, in which Malik is named as an accused.

A judicial officer in Tosham, Bhiwani, has stated that officials probing the FIRs are working under some kind of “external pressure” because certain gross investigating lapses have come to light upon scrutiny of case diaries. The officer, Saurabh Gupta, added that in most FIRs of 10 total registered, the accused have not been arrested and neither they have been identified.

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