Millennium Post

'You surrendered to Dera for vote banks', HC tells Haryana Govt

Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Saturday castigated the Manohar Lal Khattar government over the deadly violence that erupted in the state, saying it had "surrendered" before the followers of Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for "political considerations". At a special hearing, a full Bench of the court minced no words in slamming the chief minister for "protecting" the Dera followers and extending political patronage to them.

The court observed that the BJP government seemed to have "surrendered before the followers of Dera Sacha Sauda for political considerations." "This was a political surrender to allure vote bank," it observed, a day after Dera followers went on the rampage across Haryana following the conviction of the self-styled godman in a rape case by a court in Panchkula.
Thirty-two people have died so far and over 250 are injured, with curfew being imposed at several places. The Bench, comprising acting Chief Justice S Singh Saron, Justice Avneesh Jhingan and Justice Surya Kant, was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a Panchkula resident who had raised law and order concerns and stated that over 1.5 lakh people had reportedly entered the district earlier despite prohibitory orders.
The High Court also took note of Khattar's statement on Friday in which he blamed anti-social elements for the violence, which also spilled over into neighbouring Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi. "After the CBI court verdict, you immediately came to know that anti-social elements got mixed up with the followers, but how is it that you failed to take note when large number of Dera followers arrived in Panchkula?" the Bench pointed out.
The large-scale build-up of Dera followers in Panchkula and the lack of action to evict them was a "political surrender", it said.

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