As the Jat agitation intensifies, people have begun criticising the Rohtak police for allegedly failing to protect the residents during the riots, especially when 2,000 of them — including army personnel — were deployed in the city.
According to many residents, the failure of the police and intelligence officials is being viewed as the root cause of the riots and arson in Rohtak.
Shopkeepers, who have been protesting at D Park, demanded that the city’s top police brass be questioned for not stemming the riots. Family members of a 17-year-old boy, who was allegedly shot dead by protesters at Quila Road in Rohtak, alleged that the army and the police did not take any action against the protesters.
“We don’t know why they deputed us here as they did not allow us to take any action to protect the people and their properties, which were being destroyed in front of us,” conceded an army man, standing in a Rohtak market, requesting anonymity.
He added: “It doesn’t mean we were here to kill protesters but there were other ways to stop them but they (the police and the administration) did not use us as per the situation.”
Despite being stationed in the city, army officers said they were told to remain on the roads.
They said they hadn’t received any orders to take action against those causing the riots.
When asked about this, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said action would be taken against the erring officers. Sources said police Rohtak’s police officers and the district administration were under scanner; the city’s inspector general of police, Shirkant Jadhav, has already been transferred after Friday’s firing.
According to sources, two more senior-level police officers may face action for their alleged failure to act against the agitators.
Rohtak (city) deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Amit Bhatia refuted allegations against the police and said: “I was in the city and we were monitoring the security of the people. It is wrong to say I was away during the violence.”
Rohtak deputy commissioner DK Behera refused to comment on the issue.