The Prakash Singh Committee report on Jat agitation has identified about 90 officials who indulged in “deliberate negligence” when violence hit Haryana, noting that in some areas “mayhem” was allowed for hours, with authorities turning a blind eye to the loot and damage.
Detailing the situation during the height of the violence that took place in February, the Committee said in one instance a police official was so scared that he ran away while judicial officers rattled by the rampage even took off their nameplates outside their houses to save themselves from attacks.
Prakash Singh, former DGP of UP and Assam, who submitted the report to the government today, however, said that he has not suggested suspension or dismissal of “negligent” officials.
After receiving the report, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the government would examine it and take appropriate action at the earliest.
“Around 90 officers, including IAS and IPS officers, were found indulging in deliberate negligence during Jat agitation. We have made adverse comments against them in the report which was submitted today,” Singh said after submitting the report.
“Out of these officers, one third were in Rohtak, which saw maximum violence and damage during the Jat stir,” Singh said.
The committee inquired into the role of officers from the rank of Sub Inspector till SP in police and Naib Tehsildar or Duty Magistrate till the rank of Deputy Commissioner in civil administration.
It also examined the role of officers in the affected districts of Rohtak, Jhajjar, Jind, Hisar, Kaithal, Bhiwani, Sonepat and Panipat.
Noting glaring negligence on the part of some officials in violence-hit areas, the former DGP said, “In some areas, it seems, they allowed (mayhem) for hours. I heard from victims who said officials did nothing. They virtually allowed loot and damage by arsonists. We have identified those officials.”
Singh said he had found there was complete “lawlessness” in some areas.
“In one sub-division, violence took place for several hours. It seems full freedom was given by officers of that area, including SDM and DSP, for loot and violence to happen. Arsonist looted for six hours. We identified them (officials) and asked for strict action against them,” Singh said, while refusing to share the area and names of officials.
“Some people while saving themselves said we did not get orders from seniors. I told them why do you need orders. Houses were being burnt and people were being beaten up and you needed orders. You have rights under Criminal Procedure Code to maintain law and order. It is your responsibility to control the situation,” said Singh.
He further said there was confusion in the minds of officials on whether to take action or not.
“Some felt that if they take action and if somebody dies and then will the government defend them or not. It was in their minds. Some even said situation may turn worse. I asked a SHO why he did not save his police station. He said if he used force, they (arsonists) will bash them. One even said that he got scared and he ran away,” he said.