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Haryana Violence: Rohtak is a divided town after violence


Rohtak (Haryana): The arson and fury of Jat protests may be over, but the orgy of violence has left behind deep scars that residents of Rohtak town say are unlikely to go away for a long, long time.

After days of turmoil, Rohtak – like many other places in the state – is a town now visibly divided between Jats, who took to the streets seeking job quotas, and non-Jats who bore the brunt of their anger.

Both young and elderly Rohtak residents are furious that a town widely seen as Haryana’s political capital has been left looking like a war zone after nine days of unrest that virtually crippled Haryana.

Non-Jats, who until the other day counted Jats as friends and vice-versa, now complain that inter-community relations are badly strained – and might never be the same again.

“Burning our city was an act of insanity,” college student Anmol told IANS. “I can’t forgive the people who did this. Burning schools and shops and looting them show their mental status.

“They have lost all respect in my eyes,” said the 22-year-old, reflecting what seems to be a widely held view among non-Jats.

Although, Jats are in majority in Rohtak district, the town is also home to tens of thousands of Punjabis, Banias, Sainis, Brahmins and Yadavs. Until now, caste differences never led to such acute conflict.

But as Jats went reportedly on a destruction spree with the Jat-dominated police merely watching, virtually everything came under attack, leaving behind burnt or destroyed schools, hotels, eateries, businesses, showrooms, shops as well as numerous vehicles, almost all belonging to non-Jats.

Lawyer Brijesh Vashisht told IANS: “There is now hatred among different communities which until now peacefully coexisted. People are not comfortable talking to people from other communities.

Sumit Kathuria, who belongs to Rohtak but works in Gurgaon, is also bitter.

It was never about reservation. All that the goons wanted was destruction and loot,” Kathuria said. “They were no less than terrorists.”

He feels the Jats were uncomfortable with Manohar Lal Khattar, a Punjabi and Haryana’s second non-Jat chief minister. He is upset over Khattar’s failure to contain the mayhem and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence.

“Earlier we were all united no matter what caste we belonged to,” Kathuria said. “Everything has changed after the Jat agitation.”

The Jat protests across Haryana, which crippled road and rail traffic in much of northern India and also caused a water crisis in Delhi, left 28 people dead and over 200 injured.

Officials are not giving a caste break-up of the fatalities but most people say that while Jats died in firing by security forces, the non-Jat fatalities were to be blamed on Jats.

Residents say Rohtak’s image as a business and educational hub has been rudely shattered. Located 70 km northwest of Delhi, it is Haryana’s sixth most populous town with a 84 percent literacy rate.

Virender Phogat, a senior journalist and a Jat, admitted to IANS that “socially and politically the divisions in Haryana will last and political parties will take advantage of it. The society will suffer”.

He said people would blame the Jats for what had happened. “There is now low trust and discomfort. There are also going to be psychological problems.”

Another Jat who did not want to be named, said Jats who live in areas populated mainly by non-Jats were apprehensive of a possible backlash.

The government’s decision to give compensation to those who died in the agitation has also angered non-Jats, who are pressing for compensation for the widespread losses they had incurred.

Rohtak resident Priyanka Kaushik said no businessman would want to and live in Rohtak any more.

“All of us now see a gap between Jats and others. Unintentionally, I have started hating the entire community, even though I know not every Jat took part in the agitation,” she said. (IANS)

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Quick View on Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Case: 20 Years of Imprisonment enough for a Rapist in India?

15 point guide to know about the latest developments in Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s case

Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim got a jail sentence of 20 years
Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim got a jail sentence of 20 years. Twitter

New Delhi, August 28, 2017: A special CBI court gave jail sentence of 20 years (for a 15-year-old case) to rape convict Gurmeet Ram Rahim today.

Here’s a 15 point guide about the Gurmeet Ram Rahim  case:

  • Jagdeep Singh, CBI Judge declared 2 sentences of 10 years imprisonment for the 2 rape cases that happened in 2002.
  • Dera chief was also fined by the court for the 2 cases amounting to a total of Rs 30 lakh (Rs 14 lakh each would go to the 2 rape victims).
  • The Dera chief allegedly cried in the courtroom and also begged for sympathy and forgiveness.
  • The defense requested the Judge to be lenient as the Dera chief has worked for the welfare of people in the past.
  • Apart from the rape cases, Gurmeet Ram Rahim is also facing trial in 2 separate murder cases- Dera follower Ranjit Singh and journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati.
  • Protests by Dera followers (after his conviction) in Haryana and Punjab have led to the death of 38 people and crores of damage to public property.
  • A special court was set up in the Sunaria Jail premises in order to avoid any further damage caused by the violent mob. For this Jagdeep Singh, CBI special court judge flew to Rohtak today.
  • Talking about safety measures, Atul Kumar, District Collector of Rohtak said that shoot at sight orders will be issued if any anti-social elements occur which tries to harm the police force or innocent public.
  • Security was increased outside Manohar Lal Khattar, Haryana chief minister’s official residence in Chandigarh before Ram Rahim’s sentencing.
  • There was high security around the Rohtak district jail with paramilitary forces and Haryana Police covering the area. The Army was on standby.
  • No movement of people (other than the authorized ones) was allowed within 10 km distance from the jail premises.
  • Panchkula, Sirsa, Uttar Pradesh, neighboring areas were on high alert and to ensure the safety of citizens Paramilitary forces were placed in various areas. There is a curfew in Sirsa and Section 144 is enforced in Rohtak. Sensitive areas of Punjab are being patrolled by security forces.
  • Locals have been asked to stay indoors as a preventive measure.
  • Mobile internet services will remain suspended in Haryana, Punjab and also Internet lease lines in Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters, Sirsa till tomorrow 11:30 a.m.

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Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Being Treated As Ordinary Prisoner, Clarifies Haryana DGP (Jails)

No special treatment is being given to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, a rape case convict

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, a rape case convict
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Twitter
  • No special treatment is being given to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
  • The false reports of a special treatment given to him came after he was convicted in a rape case
  • Paramilitary forces have been deployed in good strength outside the Sunaria jail

Chandigarh, August 26, 2017: Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Dera Sacha Sauda chief is not being given any special treatment in Rohtak’s Sunaria jail, said Haryana DGP (Jails), K P Singh, today. The false reports of a special treatment given to him came after he was convicted in a rape case.

Singh also said that to monitor Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s activities- 4 officials have been appointed to duty near his barrack in the jail. Yesterday a special CBI court in Panchkula convicted the self-styled godman of rape.

According to PTI report, the DGP claimed,”No special treatment is being given to him. He is being treated like any other ordinary prisoner. An ordinary prisoner sleeps on the floor and he, too, is doing the same.” He added that there is no separate room for Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the room which he is sharing with other inmates doesn’t have any attendant, a bed or an AC. He is being given the same facilities as any other jail inmate as per the prison manual.

He also said that like every ordinary prisoner, he too can give the names of any five people he wishes to meet. He will be given this facility like other inmates. The jail officials will agree with the directions provided by the court after they will be informed of the duration of his sentence. He added that it’s indeed a challenge to keep a high profile prisoner secure in jail.

Also Read: Ram Rahim Convicted of Rape: Here is the 15-Year-Old Anonymous Letter from a Sadhvi

“That’s why inside the jail we have made arrangements to ensure that no other prisoner harms him for any reason. Outside the prison, we have already requested the local administration to secure the area and make adequate security arrangements,” Singh said, mentions PTI report.

To tighten the security measures- Paramilitary forces have been deployed in good strength outside the Sunaria jail.

Atul Kumar, Rohtak Deputy Commissioner, said today that their only motive is to make sure that Sunaria jail and Rohtak district are safe and secure. He said, “Through the media, I want to appeal to the people not to believe in rumors.”

Violence broke out in Haryana, Punjab (it extended to Delhi, Noida, and Ghaziabad) immediately after the announcement of the verdict with followers of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh going on the rampage, creating a ruckus and also clashing with security personnel. The violence took lives of at least 30 people, and 250 others were injured due to it.

NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.
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Northern Railways Suspend Services Ahead of Verdict of Rape Case Against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh

Major towns in Haryana and Punjab continue to remain on lock-down as thousands of supporters haven taken to the roads.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan
Self-proclaimed spiritual guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan. Wikimedia
  • Special court announced verdict in case against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
  • Religious leader held guilty in rape case 
  • Indian Railways suspend services keeping security in mind

Chandigarh, August 25, 2017: The states of Punjab and Haryana have been brought to a standstill. It is a big day for the Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh ji Insaan and his thousands of devotees as a special CBI court announced its verdict in the 15-year old rape case filed against him. State authorities fear that the decision can lead to possible agitation for which stringent security arrangements have been put in place.

The rape allegations against the religious leader go as far back as 2002 when a Dera sadhvi alleged, in an anonymous letter to the then-Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee that the chief had raped her and several other female followers. The court today held the self-declared spiritual guru guilty of the charges filed against him, the sentence hearing for which will now be held on August 28.

Rahim, who arrived in a 200-car convoy to the court today in Panchkula drew enormous support from his followers, who had blocked the roads days ahead of the verdict.

ALSO READ: Indian Gurus: Preaching Spiritualism or Business?

A heavy mantle of security forces had been deployed in Punjab and Haryana ahead of the CBI’s verdict with as many as 53 companies of the paramilitary forces and 50,000 Haryana Police officers deployed on duty. Section 144 (curbing mass mobilization) has additionally been imposed by the Punjab government forcing schools and colleges to keep shut until August 28.

Following a formal request from the state governments of the two states, the Northern Railway also decided to stall their services. Over 89 trains that include passenger trains and express trains, have been cancelled to keep the law and order situation in Haryana under check.

Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Ambala Division, Dinesh Kumar in an interview with Chandigrah Newsline said, “On Friday, 44 trains will be cancelled in Ambala division and more trains will remain cancelled on Saturday (Aug 26) and Sunday (Aug 27)”.

Security concerns have affected all possible means of travel in and around Punjab and Haryana as effects have also been observed on air and cab fares. According to a report by ANI, the air fare from Delhi to Chandigarh has gone up to almost Rs.11, 000.

The Dera Sacha Sauda chief had previously released a video on August 24 requesting supporters to keep peace and return back to their home.

However, the swarms of his followers have largely ignored the appeal as routes connecting the states to Panchkula remain blocked.

Following the court’s verdict, mass reactions have been observed among the leader’s followers who wept, fainted, and created a huge violent ruckus raising security concern in multiple towns. Major towns in Haryana and Punjab continue to remain on lockdown for the day.


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.
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