It started with then inspector general of police (IGP) Shrikant Jadhav and continues to haunt policemen in the district. The unprecedented violence and arson during the Jat agitation in February has led to a overhaul of Rohtak police top brass as officers have been accused of dereliction of duty and even cowardice in the recent report of the Prakash Singh committee submitted to the state government.
Action has been taken against several officers while it is likely to be taken against many others soon, sources said.
The government, however, swung into action before the committee submitted its report by suspending 16 cops, including inspectors, sub-inspectors and constables, even as the committee indicted cops not below the level of ASI in its report. Giving the reason behind this, Prakash Singh said, “I had only 45 days and going below the level of ASIs would have been a huge task to finish in that time, considering the large number of constables and head constables in the force.”
Police sources told HT that the Haryana Police ensured that the junior-level cops don’t get away just like that for their failure to perform their duties, so a departmental inquiry is under way against over 50 cops.
Six DSPs too have been placed under suspension. Two of them- Amit Bhatia and Amit Dahiya – were suspended soon after the riots for their inept handling of protests in Rohtak while four more – Vijender Singh, Pawan Sharma, Surender Singh and Sukhbir Singh – were placed under suspension recently after their names figured in the Prakash Singh panel report. The four were the DSPs of the areas where mobs had a free run and ransacked properties worth hundreds of crores.
Four station house officers (SHOs) of inspector rank have already been placed under suspension by the police.
After Prakash Singh’s report, a departmental action has been initiated against four more SHOs, which will lead to a change in the top brass at eight of the 11 police stations in the district.
A departmental action against seven SIs and ASIs, incharge of police chowkis, has also been initiated in the wake of the Prakash Singh panel’s report, even as three of them were already suspended by the police. In case, action against officials named in the Prakash Singh report was already taken, the police will review the chargesheets made against them in the report.
Is the rejig enough?
However, the question that arises now is whether a mere rejig in police force will be enough in avoiding the security failure which was witnessed during the Jat agitation in February.
Talking to HT, Rohtak range IG Sanjay Kumar said he was hopeful that the changes would be sufficient, though he said only time could answer this question. “But the police force has done more than that,” the IG added.
“Two companies of Rohtak police, 70 men each, have been raised as the Rapid Action Force (RAF). They are equipped with weapons used by the RAF personnel. The police are also given motivation and training to be prepared for anything like the riots which happened in February,” he said.
More measures had been taken. However, the details cannot be disclosed due to security concerns, the IG maintained.