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Haryana home minister assures assembly of CBI probe into INLD state chief's murder

Speaker Gian Chand Gupta admitted the adjournment motion as the Congress demanded a high court judge-monitored CBI probe into Rathee's killing.
Last Updated 26 February 2024, 10:38 IST

Chandigarh: Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij on Monday told the state assembly that the government will announce a CBI probe into the killing of Indian National Lok Dal's state unit chief Nafe Singh Rathee.

Vij also denied the Opposition's charge that the law-and-order mechanism has collapsed in the state.

"If the House is only satisfied with a CBI probe, then I assure the members that we will hand over the case to the CBI," Vij said while speaking on an adjournment motion moved by the Congress over Haryana's law-and-order situation.

Speaker Gian Chand Gupta admitted the adjournment motion as the Congress demanded a high court judge-monitored CBI probe into Rathee's killing.

Soon after the Question Hour, the Congress members raised the issue of Rathee's killing and demanded a discussion on law and order.

Responding to questions raised by the opposition in the assembly regarding the security demanded by Rathee, Vij said, "It is true that Rathee ji had demanded security and handed over a letter to the SP, Jhajjar in this regard on July 14, 2022, and a case was registered in this regard."

"After that, the police investigated the threats. In the investigation, it was found that a person from Kolkata was threatening Nafe Singh ji over the phone. The accused was later caught," he said.

Vij, however, said that no letter was received by his office addressed to him regarding giving security to the ex-MLA, asserting that if such a letter had come it was not possible that no action would have been taken.

Rathee and an INLD worker were killed when unidentified assailants sprayed their sports utility vehicle with bullets at Bahadurgarh, near Delhi, on Sunday.

The attack, which came with less than two months to go for the Lok Sabha polls, drew sharp reactions from the opposition parties in the BJP-ruled state.

Twelve people, including former BJP MLA Naresh Kaushik, were booked on Monday in connection with the Rathee's killing, police said.

Vij told the Assembly that police are properly probing the incident, but when Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda said the case might involve various angles that can only be investigated by a central agency, the home minister said a CBI probe will be announced.

Congress leader Raghuvir Singh Kadian asked the speaker to allow a discussion on the adjournment motion moved by his party.

Speaker Gupta admitted the adjournment motion after which the House discussed the issue.

Kadian described Rathee's killing as the state's 'first political murder' and demanded a high court judge-monitored CBI probe into the incident. His demand was backed by Hooda.

Kadian also said Rathee was not given a security cover despite the fact that he was facing threats.

Home minister Vij described Rathee's killing as a very sad incident.

"I immediately directed the officials concerned to take action. I spoke to the DGP, the Jhajjar SP and the head of the STF, and directed them to catch the culprits at the earliest," he said.

Vij said the registration number of the car used in crime is being verified.

On the alleged breakdown of law and order, he said, "It is being said that the entire law-and-order system has broken down in the state, which is not true."

"Those behind Rathee's killing will not be spared and exemplary punishment will be given to them, the home minister said, while adding 'his (Rathee's) nephew has registered FIR against political people. But we will not leave those who are guilty'."

Vij said Rathee was with him as a legislator in the assembly in 1996 and 2000 and described him as a good friend.

Later, when Vij was referring to law and order situation under the previous Congress regime, the opposition members took exception when he gave figures to say that law and order had deteriorated during their 10-year rule.

Earlier, when the House was condoling Rathee's death and that of former Lok Sabha speaker Manohar Joshi, Kadian said the INLD leader's death was not natural.

"It is a political murder and the first one in Haryana since it was carved out as a separate state (in 1966)," the Congress leader said.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar led the House in paying tributes to Rathee.

Kadian said Rathee came from a farmer family and rose to become an MLA after a lot of struggles in life.

"We demand a high court judge-monitored CBI probe into the incident," he said.

Kadian said Rathee was facing threats to his life and had sought a security cover for himself. "The question that arises is, why security was not provided to Rathee," he added.

Hooda said even in the past, many MLAs had faced threats, while Congress leader B B Batra said a 'sense of insecurity is prevailing among the state's citizens'.

"The circumstances are such today that every citizen in Haryana is feeling insecure. Even MLAs in the past have faced threats. If our state is unsafe, then development cannot take place, no investment will come," Hooda said.

Senior Congress leader Kiran Choudhary said, "Haryana's law and order is worse than that of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar."

Another Congress member Geeta Bhukkal said, "Criminal elements have become so emboldened that traders are getting threats and incidents of killing and other heinous crimes have become common. Haryana has become unsafe as law and order has broken down."

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(Published 26 February 2024, 10:38 IST)

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