Terming it a desperate and futile bid to wriggle out of his own responsibility in the matter, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has flayed his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar for blaming Punjab for the violence that followed the indictment of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmit Ram Rahim.
Dubbing Mr.Khattar’s charges against the Punjab government as ludicrous, Captain Amarinder Singh said in a statement that the Haryana chief minister was trying desperately to cover up his own government’s failure in preventing the carnage in the wake of the verdict against Gurmit Ram Rahim.
Khattar’s despair was evident from the fact that even after suspending five of their own police personnel over the alleged conspiracy to whisk Ram Rahim away post the judgement, he was now trying to fix responsibility for the entire affair on Punjab police, said the Chief Minister, adding that nothing could be more ridiculous than this. “Why did his government suspend the five Haryana cops in the matter if they were not guilty,” Captain Amarinder asked the chief minister of the BJP-ruled neighbouring state.
Captain Amarinder also lashed out at Mr.Khattar for blaming Punjab over the accumulation of over one lakh Dera followers in Panchkula ahead of the judicial verdict in the rape case against Ram Rahim. The death count, and the number of people injured in the violence that erupted in Panchkula after the verdict, clearly shows that the bulk of the followers gathered there were from Haryana, he pointed out, asking how could the Punjab government have been expected to control entry into Haryana.
Haryana alone was responsible for maintaining law and order in Panchkula and failed to prevent aggregation of people in the area despite intelligence reports warning of an adverse fallout of the court judgement, Captain Amarinder noted, assailing Mr.Khattar’s attempt to divert public attention from his government’s catastrophic failure in the matter.
Mr.Khattar seems to have either forgotten or has conveniently chosen to ignore the fact that not only did Punjab witness only a few sporadic and minor incidents but reported no loss of life in the fallout of the Panchkula bloodshed, said Captain Amarinder. If the majority of the followers gathered in the town had been from Punjab the situation in this state would have been much worse, he added.
Even the judiciary has blamed the Haryana government for allowing the situation to escalate out of control, Captain Amarinder added, urging Mr.Khattar to refrain from playing dirty politics over the issue which had led to huge loss of life and property.