398 Jat quota stir cases to be withdrawn; cops mum : The Tribune India

398 Jat quota stir cases to be withdrawn; cops mum

CHANDIGARH: Keeping its commitment to Jats, the Haryana Government began the process of withdrawing cases registered against them in connection with arson and violence during the 2016 pro-reservation agitation that left 31 persons dead.

398 Jat quota stir cases to be withdrawn; cops mum

A car showroom damaged by Jat protesters in Rohtak. File photo



Geetanjali Gayatri

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9

Keeping its commitment to Jats, the Haryana Government began the process of withdrawing cases registered against them in connection with arson and violence during the 2016 pro-reservation agitation that left 31 persons dead.

Sources say the Home Department has sent off a directive to Deputy Commissioners of seven worst-affected districts for withdrawing 398 cases that are at various levels of investigation or trial.

Since the trial is in progress in district courts, the Deputy Commissioners will write to District Attorneys to move applications for withdrawal.

The state government is empowered under Section 321 of the CrPC to withdraw cases before a judgment is pronounced, but the final decision rests with the court.

Sources say the Home Department had, in June last year, written to the DCs for withdrawing 137 cases. Two more directives were issued — one in February to withdraw 81 cases and another in March for taking back 180 cases.

Additional Chief Secretary (Home) SS Prasad confirmed the DCs had been directed to withdraw cases. But he added, “We have no power to withdraw cases being handled by central agencies.”

About 2,100 cases were registered for the 2016 agitation, he added.

Sources say most of the cases being withdrawn pertain to violence, road blockades and hampering government officials from doing their duty.

The Haryana Police Department, though actively involved in deliberations involving the withdrawal of cases, is tight-lipped about the fate of the remaining cases or the nature of crime in cases being withdrawn.

The police top brass chose to keep mum when asked for details of cases being withdrawn as also those which had been decided by the court. All they said was details of the cases were “very dynamic and keep on changing, making it impossible to provide data”.

The BJP government, which has repeatedly assured to the All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) of withdrawing cases, has finally taken the first step in honouring its word, while the Police Department keep the details close to their chest.

This is probably because the HC is monitoring several cases of the 2016 violence and the government, by divulging details about withdrawn cases, does not want to get a rap by the court, sources say.

Yashpal Malik, AIJASS president, said withdrawing cases was not enough. “We will hold a meeting in April-end to decide the future course of action since the promises of reservation under the OBC category and jobs to relatives of those who died during the course of dharnas are unfulfilled,” he said.

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