Situation in Nuh not assessed properly: Deputy CM Chautala; internet ban extended till Aug 11

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Dushyant Chautala Nuh

Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala (File image)

Gurugram: Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala on Tuesday indicated that there were shortcomings of the administration in assessing the situation in Nuh, where communal violence erupted on July 31 during a religious procession.

The state government has extended the suspension of mobile internet and SMS services in the district till August 11, where conditions are "still critical and tense".

Chautala said the additional DGP (law and order) had stated that permission for a procession having 3,200 people was taken by the organisers, and accordingly the police force was deployed.

"...Lack of assessment by administration which could not assess this entire episode properly. Nuh SP (now transferred) was on leave since July 22, the one who had additional charge could not assess it properly and the officials from whom permission (for the procession) was taken they too could not assess it properly. It is a point which is under investigation," he told reporters here when asked whether there was an intelligence failure to assess the situation.

The JJP leader had earlier said that the organisers of the religious procession, which was attacked in Nuh by a mob, did not give a proper estimation of the expected turnout to the district administration, a lapse which may have led to the violence.

Six people, including two home guards and a cleric, died in the communal clashes that erupted in Nuh when a Vishva Hindu Parishad procession was attacked by mobs.

A total of 312 persons have been arrested and 142 FIRs registered so far in connection with the communal clashes in Haryana, Home Minister Anil Vij said in a statement on Tuesday.

When asked when did he get information about the July 31 incident, Chautala replied, "I came to know about it at 1:30 pm...I talked to ADGP (CID) and requested that SP Bhiwani be sent there (Nuh)."

For the first time, such atmosphere in the state has been created in a planned manner and strict action will be taken against those involved, be it a minor or major, he said when asked that some teenagers were stated to be part of those who indulged in stone pelting on the procession.

On allegations that "one sided action was being taken", Chautala said all those being arrested do not belong to a particular caste or community.

Referring to communal clashes, the deputy CM said the government was able "to control the situation within seven hours. In some other states, it has been seen such an incident continued for two-three weeks. I think it was our efficiency that we were able to curb anti-social elements".

Curfew has been relaxed and it will be lifted gradually, he said.

The government on Tuesday evening extended the suspension of mobile internet and SMS services in Nuh district till August 11 to prevent any disturbance of peace and public order.

"It has been brought to my notice by Deputy Commissioner, Nuh, that the conditions are still critical and tense in the district. In order to stop the spread of misinformation and rumours through various social media platforms...the suspension of mobile internet services and bulk SMS, excluding banking and mobile recharge, has been ordered in the jurisdiction of district Nuh," said an order issued by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) T V S N Prasad.

The Gurugram police on Tuesday arrested three out of five accused for allegedly starting a fire in a mazar at Khandsa village. According to police, the five men committed the act after getting influenced by social media posts on the communal clashes that began in the neighbouring Nuh district and spread to parts of the city and nearby areas last week.

Meanwhile, Muslim body Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has moved the Supreme Court seeking directions for rehabilitation of those whose homes were razed by authorities in Nuh district of Haryana in the past few days.

The organisation of Muslim scholars, in a statement, said though the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered a halt on Monday to the demolition drive in violence-hit Nuh, it did not order rehabilitation of those displaced and compensation to them.

A 10-member delegation of Haryana Congress led by its president Udai Bhan was stopped from entering violence-hit villages of Nuh district.

Citing curfew imposed in the area and security concerns for the delegation, a senior police officer said the delegation was stopped at Rojka Meo village. The delegation returned after that, police said.

Meanwhile, the government has transferred Nuh DSP Jai Prakash to Panchkula. Prakash is the third officer after SP Varun Singla and Deputy Commissioner Prashant Panwar who have been transferred from Nuh since the violence erupted on July 31.

Nuh SP Narender Bijarnia on Tuesday said that a search operation is being conducted to arrest the accused in connection with the violence.

“So far 57 FIRs have been registered and 170 people have been arrested in Nuh district. Apart from 1,900 police personnel, 31 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed to maintain law and order in the district. Posts on social media over missing people/women are misleading,” said Bijarnia.

In Gurugram, police have registered a case for giving provocative speech in the mahapanchayat organized in Tigra on Sunday to protest the arrest of four men accused of killing a cleric.