Ex-Haryana CM Hooda’s aide faces sedition charge for Jat stir

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Rohtak
  • Updated: Feb 24, 2016 20:19 IST
A policeman throws stones at protesting Jat students in front of IGP office at Rohtak on Friday. February 19, 2016. (HT Photo / Manoj Dhaka)

Police have charged Prof Virender, a close aide of former chief minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda, with sedition for allegedly instigating mobs to kill people and damage property during the Jat stir for reservation.

Rohtak police filed an FIR based on a complaint by Bhiwani resident Capt Pawan Kumar Anchal and an audio clip of Virender’s alleged phone calls during the violence-marred stir in Haryana, which began on Thursday and lasted five days.

The Hooda stronghold of Rohtak was the epicenter of the Jat stir. His associates were involved in the “organised agitation”, reads the complaint.

The FIR says the complainant alleged that Virender and some other people were abetted and hatched a criminal conspiracy for large-scale destruction, arson, looting, and vandalizing of public and private property. He is also accused of instigating mob murders.

The protests were run and organised by mostly relatives and party leaders and workers of former chief minister Hooda, forcing the government to call paramilitary forces to control the situation, the FIR says.

It mentions an audio clip in a CD provided by the complainant that contains Virender’s alleged telephonic conversation in which he persuaded Capt Man Singh Dalal, the spokesperson of the Dalal Khap, to create a Rohtak-like situation in Sirsa.

The police FIR says Capt Dalal has confirmed that the conversation was made during an news channel debate.

Virender and his mentors conspired to create large-scale trouble since the state government had ordered a CBI probe into the role of high-profile politicians and people in various cases, the complaint says.

Rohtak Civil Line police station in-charge Sandeep Punia said the FIR has been registered under 124A, 153A , 153B, 120B and 109B of the IPC.

Reacting to the sedition charge, both Hooda called it a political conspiracy.

“It is a political conspiracy. The BJP government in Haryana is trying to cover its failures by restoring to such gimmicks. If a criminal case has to registered, it should be against those in the government who remained mute spectators to violence,” said the former chief minister of Haryana.

Prof Virender said that he is contemplating legal action.

“Neither the entire conversation nor its date and time has been made public. The conversation in the clip pertains to the time when the agitation was going on peacefully and no violence had taken place. There is not even a single word in the conversation which suggests incitement. The context and meaning of a conversation can change in different situations. It is a conspiracy to malign me and I am contemplating legal action,” said Prof Virender.

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