Haryana's lawlessness spinning out of control? (Haryana Newsletter)

By Jaideep Sarin (IANS) | Published on Sat, Sep 29 2012 12:12 IST | 8 Views | Add comment
Chandigarh, Sep 29

Gang-rapes, ministers getting involved in murder conspiracies and suicides, honour killings, violent industrial disputes, kidnappings, murders, farmer agitations, community clashes - and much more. This is not from the crime file of a police station but just some of the incidents that have occurred during the present tenure of the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government in Haryana.

Less than three years into its second term that began in October 2009, the Hooda government seems nowhere in control as incidents of crime and community violence keep mounting.

The latest shameful incidents of gang-rape in Hisar and Jind districts have clearly indicated how criminals are having a free run with heinous crimes.

In Hisar district, a 16-year-old Dalit girl was kidnapped and gang-raped by eight youths earlier this month and they filmed the crime on their mobile phones. They later circulated a MMS clip of the crime. Coming to know about his daughter being gang-raped and her MMS being in circulation, the victim's father committed suicide Sept 18. The accused belong to upper caste families.

As if the Hisar incident was not enough, the Jind police was found wanting as a married woman in her mid-30s alleged that she was gang-raped by three men inside her house even as her family was held at gun-point Sept 21. The victim, who belongs to a backward class community, has threatened to commit suicide.

Hooda's colleague and then minister of state for home Gopal Kanda was arrested by Delhi Police last month after his name figured in the abetment to suicide case of former flight attendant Geetika Sharma. Kanda's run-ins with lawlessness, despite being a minister and a lawmaker, in Gurgaon and Sirsa are well known.

Last June, Hooda's cabinet colleague Om Prakash Jain, who was the transport and tourism minister, and Zile Ram Sharma, chief parliamentary secretary (CPS), were forced to quit from his government after their names figured in the murder of village headman Karam Singh, whose body with stab wounds, was found near Karnal's National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI).

Just a day before his murder, the village headman, who was in his 50s, had submitted a written complaint to Hooda and the police against the minister and the CPS about a fraud committed on him. Karam Singh had accused Jain and Sharma of duping him of nearly Rs.13 lakh on the pretext of providing government jobs to his son and two nephews. But they neither provided the jobs nor returned the money, his complaint said.

Just days later, Chamail Singh, who was made a witness in the Karam Singh murder, was also found murdered. Chamail was a relative of Karam Singh and he had also allegedly paid Rs. 400,000 to Zile Ram Sharma to arrange a job for his relative.

Hooda has chosen to remain silent on the latest gang-rapes and other incidents of crime in his second tenure. He was earlier chief minister March 2005-Oct 2009.

The recent incidents of violence at the Maruti-Suzuki automobile plant at Manesar near Gurgaon saw the death of a senior executive left a dent in the state machinery's handling of industrial issues. In July 2005 too, hundreds of workers at the Honda plant in Manesar were involved in a violent clash with the police.

The controversies surrounding Haryana's notorious Khap panchayats that have been taking law in their own hands in many cases have also put the Hooda government on the backfoot.

The April 2010 incidents of Jat community violence against the Dalit community in Mirchpur village, which left a old Dalit man and his physically challenged daughter dead and a number of Dalit houses burnt, too continues to haunt the Hooda government.

As of now, there seems no end to the incidents of violence nor does the government seem to have a clue as to how to deal with it.

(Jaidep Sarin can be contacted at jaideep.s@ians.in)

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