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Padmaavat protest: Bhondsi villagers to meet Union home minister Rajnath Singh over release of eight juveniles

The minors are alleged to have been involved in the protests during which a school bus was pelted with stones and a Haryana Roadways bus was vandalised and set on fire, on January 24. Multiple charges were framed on the juveniles, including an attempt to murder, rioting, snatching, damaging government property and preventing government employees from discharging their duty.

gurgaon Updated: Feb 12, 2018 22:40 IST
Leena Dhankhar
Leena Dhankhar
Hindustan Times
Padmaavat protest,Union home minister Rajnath Singh,Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar
The protesters unleashed violence demanding a ban on the release of filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmaavat’.(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

Bhondsi villagers have planned to set up a meeting with Union home minister Rajnath Singh to seek the release of eight minors who were apprehended by the Gurgaon police in connection with the violence that broke out on January 24.

The minors are alleged to have been involved in the protests during which a school bus was pelted with stones and a Haryana Roadways bus was vandalised and set on fire. The protesters unleashed violence demanding a ban on the release of filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmaavat’.

The villagers said on Monday that despite an assurance by chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on the release of the juveniles, who are currently lodged in the Faridabad observation home, no action has been taken by the police.

“We met the chief minister thrice and the local MLA Tejpal Tanwar a dozen times, seeking the release of the minors who were wrongly apprehended. However, despite an assurance that they would be released soon, there’s been no action on the ground,” Sanjay Raghav, a village head, said.

“We have now decided to set up a meeting with Rajnath Singh and urge him to look into the matter. Those apprehended are school and college -goers and one of them is 21 years old, an adult by law. He (the Union home minister) is our last hope in the matter,” Anil Raghav, the father of one of the juveniles apprehended in connection with the Bhondsi violence on January 24, said.

Earlier, Davender Singh, the principal magistrate of the Juvenile Justice Board(JJB), Gurgaon, served a showcause notice on the station house officer of Bhondsi police station, directing him to explain the circumstances under which he had apprehended a 21-year-old student and produced him before the board as a juvenile.

The reports submitted by the legal-cum-probation officer before the JJ Board has the statements of the family members and the neighbours claiming that those apprehended were framed by the police and have no involvement in the case.

The Bhondsi SHO is to appear in person in the court on February 14 and explain why action should not be initiated against him in the matter.

Earlier, the villagers met officials of the special investigation team(SIT) team and requested them to conduct a fair inquiry into the case. The 12-member SIT, formed by the Gurgaon police commissioner, includes assistant commissioners of police (ACP’s), inspectors and assistant sub-inspectors (ASIs) under the supervision of DCP (South) Ashok Bakshi.

Multiple charges were framed on the juveniles, including an attempt to murder, rioting, snatching, damaging government property and preventing government employees from discharging their duty.

“The Gurgaon police said the matter is under investigation and the challan is yet to be produced before the court. We would like to reassure villagers that those apprehended won’t be charged if found innocent. We are making every effort to verify facts,” the Gurgaon police PRO said.

First Published: Feb 12, 2018 22:40 IST