Weeks ahead of Haryana assembly polls, INLD (Indian National Lok Dal) leader Abhay Singh Chautala has raked a controversy on Wednesday with his remarks on the Panchkula protests. Taking to Twitter, Abhay Singh Chautala said that the followers of Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh were in "pain" when he was sentenced by the court. Calling the protests and violence caused by his followers "democratic", the INLD leader added that the situation could be handled with talks. He went to threaten the Haryana government, adding that the people will give a reply to the 'misrule' in the state.
"When the Dera chief was sentenced, it is obvious that his followers were in pain. They were protesting in a democratic manner. People should have made talked to and then sent back. Instead of being sent back, 48 people were killed. The people of Haryana will reply to this misrule," INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala tweeted in Hindi.
जब डेरा प्रमुख को सजा सुनाई गई तो जाहिर सी बात है कि उनके अनुयायियों को पीड़ा थी. वो लोकतांत्रिक तरीके से इजहार कर रहे थे.— Abhay Singh Chautala (@AbhaySChautala) September 25, 2019
लाखों लोगों को समझा बुझाकर वापस भेजना चाहिए था. वापस भेजने की बजाए 48 लोगों को मौत के घाट उतार दिया गया.
इस कुशासन का जवाब #Haryana की जनता देगी.
On August 25, 2017, over 35 people lost their lives and several were injured in the Panchkula violence after Dera followers carried out protests following the rape conviction of self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. As soon as the special CBI court convicted Ram Rahim, who is the head of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda, in the 2002 rape case, thousands of his followers went on the rampage, setting fire to vehicles, buildings and railway stations. The protest started in Haryana's Panchkula and spread like fire in other parts of the state, along with Punjab and Delhi. The police had responded by opening fire.
Lodged in Sunaria Jail in Rohtak, Gurmeet Ram Rahim was convicted in two rape cases and the murder of a journalist in August 2017. He was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. Recently, the Punjab and Haryana High Court rejected his parole plea. The petition was filed by Ram Rahim's wife Harjit Kaur on the grounds that his mother was ill. He had earlier applied for parole saying that he wanted to do farming on his fields in Haryana's Sirsa. However, he later withdrew his application.
INLD leader Chautala's tweet has come days after the Elections Commission announced the dates for assembly polls in Haryana. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora had said that election in Haryana will take place in a single phase on October 21, along with Maharashtra. The counting of votes will take place on October 24. The 90-seat Haryana assembly is concluding on November 2.