Blame politicians for violence in Indian state

Published: Sat 26 Aug 2017, 8:43 PM

Last updated: Sat 26 Aug 2017, 10:46 PM

It wasn't just a law and order breakdown, it was sheer incompetence on the part of a state government in India. Seven days of warnings by security agencies and the media were ignored by the Haryana government who watched helplessly as the flames spread and consumed lives. Disgraceful. The police were caught napping after thousands of followers of a sect leader triggered riots after he was found guilty by a court in a rape case on Friday. The state administration was clearly unprepared for the scale of the rampage that killed 31 people. They perhaps believed that the bling guru by the name of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh would get away with a light sentence by a special court that was probing the sexual assault case. The charlatan even played a superhero in movies and millions allegedly repose blind faith in him. Politicians joined the circus that went to town and look who paid the price?
Thankfully, the justice system held its ground and chastised the BJP government of ML Khattar, which is also the ruling party at the federal level. The high court also ruled that the Gurmeet's Dera Sacha Sauda sect pay for the damages caused by his goons. The government should have galvanised its forces ahead of time to prevent large assemblies before and after the verdict. Central forces and the army should have been deployed to keep a tight vigil. But nothing happened until the situation got out of hand. Reports said petrol bombs and knives were used by the rioters. So this was planned and executed, and the government conveniently turned a blind eye to the situation. A vote bank had to be nurtured and appeased and the Haryana government did just that at the cost of security. Politicians feed off sects like Dera Sacha Sauda to cling on to power. Gurmeet was courted and feted unabashedly. He was fed by the largesse of a political class who made it a mass movement of sorts. We'll end with a forward doing the rounds. "When a rape accused is not arrested people burn candles and march. When a rape accused is convicted people burn the city."

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