Panchkula riots: We did a good job, says Haryana CM
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar seems to have given himself a clean chit in the Panchkula riots case. "Let them demand the resignation, we have done our job nicely," he said in response to criticism by the opposition. The BJP government in Haryana as well as the Centre had faced flak for shoddy work as violence broke out after Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's conviction.
Ram Rahim's conviction and the subsequent riots
At around 3pm on August 25, a Panchkula court convicted Ram Rahim in a 2002 rape case. Immediately after, the thousands of Dera Sacha Sauda supporters that had assembled in the western city turned violent. At least 38 people died and hundreds were injured. Even as 50,000 security personnel stood guard, they couldn't control the violence from spreading.
Who was at fault?
The riots were a result of administrative failure at multiple levels. Khattar earlier admitted to lapses in handling the riots. He said the government had evicted Dera supporters before the verdict, but the mobs got out of hand. Home Minister Rajnath Singh failed to review the situation despite having information beforehand. Singh's closeness to top BJP leaders likely influenced the government's reaction.
Finally, the court had to intervene
Meanwhile, the Punjab and Haryana HC called out the centre and the state for their inability to control the violence. The court even took a dig at PM Modi, saying, "He is the Prime Minister of not the BJP but of India."
But BJP leaders still seem nonchalant
Many parties had demanded the CM's resignation, especially considering this was the second such failure of the Khattar government: last year, Haryana burnt during the Jat agitation. But after meeting BJP president Amit Shah, Khattar refuted allegations of mismanagement. The court has asked for a report on the violence. If such incidents go unchecked, the standard of law and order will drop several notches.