Was asked to give clean chit to wrongdoers: Jat stir panel head

Was asked to give clean chit to wrongdoers: Jat stir panel head

Was asked to give clean chit to wrongdoers: Jat stir panel head

Prakash Singh, who headed the committee that submitted a report on the violence during the Jat quota agitation, has claimed that attempts were made by some people to influence him during its preparation.

Singh, without naming anyone, said certain people had tried to make him issue a "clean chit" to some wrongdoers.

"...things like provoking some leaders against the Committee, making 'sifarish' (influencing the Committee), these things started from the beginning (when the Committee was formed)," the former Uttar Pradesh DGP told reporters yesterday.

Throwing more light, Singh said, "When the probe was in its final stages, some people thought there can be a question mark on their future, you know these days many officials have their political patrons, they send them (to influence).

"But I will say one thing that everyone talked respectfully, they wanted that some people be given clean chit," he said.

He said he prepared the report in an impartial manner as he felt his responsibility towards the people of Haryana has to be above all considerations.

"I listened to all of them, I listened with patience, but I thought my responsibility towards the people of Haryana has to be above all considerations. And discharging that duty, I wrote what I thought was true," he said.

Singh said he hoped the state government would make the report public soon.

"I hope that Government puts this in public domain soon and ends its secrecy because many people have started to speculate about various things," he said.

The Prakash Singh Committee report, submitted to the Haryana Chief Minister over a week back, found "deliberate negligence" on the part of 90 officials, including IAS and IPS officers, during the Jat quota agitation in February.

The 450-page report submitted to the CM on May 13, is likely to be put in the public domain by month-end, official sources said.

Singh said the officials who were negligent in performing their duty have been identified and their names given to the government.

"The government, on its part, has also started taking action on the report, many SDM, DSPs have been suspended," he said.

Asked to comment on the former DGP's statements, Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij said, "Prakash Singh is a man of such stature that nobody can put pressure on him."

"He has been an upright police officer, it is an unnecessary googly which he has bowled. He should make the names of those persons public who tried to put pressure and also make public, the  names of those officials who tried to approach him for favourable remarks in the report, so that we can take action against them," he said.

Leader of Opposition in Haryana Assembly and senior INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala also reacted to the issue saying, "Prakash Singh should make names of those public who tried to approach him and put pressure."

He said the INLD has been maintaining right from the beginning that the BJP government formed this Committee "so that it can have a report in its favour".

"This Committee had been formed to deflect the severe flak which the Khattar government faced for its inept handling of the situation during Jat stir...," Chautala said.

Former chief minister and senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda said everyone knew that the BJP dispensation in the state had failed to control the situation, which resulted in loss of manny lives and damage to property.

"I feel some officials are being made a scapegoat in connection with the Jat agitation," he said.

Yesterday, speaking in Karnal, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had said that the state government would go by the Prakash Singh Committee report on the Jat stir issue and disciplinary action would be initiated against all officers and other officials found guilty.

Khattar had said that three sub-divisional magistrates (SDMs) and nine DSP level officers had already been suspended and administrative action was being taken against them.

On May 17, the Haryana government had shunted out Additional Chief Secretary (Home) P K Das who was replaced by senior IAS officer Ram Niwas.

Around 90 officers were indicted for "deliberate negligence" during the Jat quota agitation by the committee and adverse comments were made against them in its report submitted to the chief minister on May 13.

Thirty people were killed in violence and there was extensive damage to properties during the stir whose epicentre was Rohtak district.