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We handled it with restraint, patience: Khattar claims a clean chit in Dera violence, submits report to Amit Shah

Anurag Dey | Updated on: 30 August 2017, 15:40 IST
(Photo by Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Amid persistent demands for his resignation over the violence ensuing the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim in two rape cases, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar seemed to be on a different tangent. Khattar hailed his government for doing its job well.

Khattar met BJP President Amit Shah in the national capital and submitted a report on the 25 August violence in the state that claimed over 30 lives.

“We handled the situation with patience and restraint and carried out the court order. There is peace in Haryana everything is now okay there,” Khattar said after meeting Shah.

On the meeting, Khattar said – “Whatever details he (Shah) sought for regarding the incident, we have given that in the report”.

While the top BJP top brass is said to be unhappy with Khattar’s performance, it has chosen to back him up publicly. The man under fire has tried to appear unperturbed by the calls for his head.

“People may say what they want to but we are satisfied by our performance, our responsibility was to carry out the court’s order and we did that in a calm and patient manner. We have done our job and we are satisfied that the work we have done is right,” he said.

Khattar’e meet with Shah comes in wake of the Punjab and Haryana High Court directing both the state governments to set up Special Investigation Teams (SITs) to investigate all cases registered at various places in connection with the Dera violence.

The HCs also ordered that no FIR registered by the two states in connection with the violence be cancelled without the court’s permission. The Khattar government has also been asked to file a detailed status report regarding steps taken to sanitise Dera Sacha Sauda centres including its headquarters at Sirsa.

In his meeting with Shah, Khattar discussed the Dera issue at length, particularly the crackdown on the Dera. Post the violence, the Haryana administration raided Dera centres across the state and sealed many of them.

Many of the central and the state BJP leaders are known for their proximity with the controversial Dera chief and had enjoyed the Dera's support during the 2014 Assembly polls. The Khattar government has been pulled up by the Opposition of allowing the Friday’s violence owing to its closeness to controversial sect. 

Besides the opposition parties intensely campaigning for his resignation, the Punjab and Haryana too have come down heavily on Khattar and his government over the Dera mayhem.

Expressing its angst over the violence, the HC indicted the Khattar government of “politically surrendering to lure vote banks.” 

Khattar, though, asserted the contrary and dismissed allegations of any 'deals' with the BJP for going soft on the Dera hooligans. “The allegation of any deal is rubbish,” said Khattar. 

He also said the state administration’s considerations were different on Friday when the court convicted Rahim of rape and on Monday when the godman was ordered 20 years of imprisonment for raping two women.

“On Friday our target was to bring Rahim to the court without any problems. We were successful in doing that. The considerations on the two days were different. If Friday was to ensure his surrender in court, on Monday it was to ensure there was no untoward incident,” said Khattar answering to media queries on why the government could not prevent the Friday’s violence.

Edited by Jhinuk Sen

First published: 30 August 2017, 15:40 IST