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Jat quota agitation: Youths who set Capt Abhimanyu’s house on fire pardoned

Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By Sunil Rahar, Rohtak
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2020 12:18 AM IST

A Jat ‘mahapanchayat’ on Thursday decided to pardon the youths accused of setting on fire former Haryana finance minister Captain Abhimanyu’s house during the Jat quota agitation on February 19, 2016.

The panchayat held in Jind was presided over by Satrol Khap president Ram Niwas Lohan. Nearly 108 khap representatives took part in the meeting.

Independent MLA from Dadri Sombir Sangwan said Captain Abhimanyu and youths accused of arson were also present in the panchayat.

“We have agreed upon the fact that Jat community was responsible for the failure in handling the situation during the 2016 agitation. A 21-member committee was formed by the panchayat to take a final call on pardoning the youths accused of arson and damage. The panel has reached a consensus on the matter and condemns the attack on Captain’s residence. The panchayat has accepted that the community failed to stop the arson and loss of properties during the Jat agitation,” Sangwan said.

The CBI had filed a chargesheet against 51 persons in connection with the violence and arson at the residential and official premises of Captain Abhimanyu and slapped sections in connection with rioting, sedition and attempt to murder on the accused.

The accused included Rohtak-based lawyer Sudeep Kalkal, Jat leader Manoj Duhan and another advocate Sandeep Rathi. At present, most of them are out on bail.

Sangwan said, “Captain Abhimanyu’s elder brother Veer Sain has announced to pardon the accused.”

Lohan said the panchayat has decided to form a committee which will appear before the CBI court to ascertain that a compromise has been struck between Captain Abhimanyu’s family and youths accused of arson.

“We will jointly fight this legal battle to ensure release of youths languishing in jails since 2016. The khap panchayat has decided to devise plans so that such activities do not take place in future,” he added.

Despite repeated attempts, comments of Captain Abhimanyu could not be elicited.

Sudeep Kalkal, one of the accused, said the panchayat has taken a good step for the welfare of the community.

“We welcome this move. Both state and central governments have the right to withdraw cases filed against us,” he added.

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