Perhaps Congress had hand in Nuh violence: Haryana home minister

Chandigarh: Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij on Tuesday said on the basis of investigation, it appears that perhaps the Congress had a hand in the last month violence in Nuh.

He also told reporters outside the state assembly complex here that the state police will seek help from central agencies on a possible Pakistan angle in the incident.

“Many angles” such as the attack on the cyber police station there are being looked into, the minister said. “Many videos and photos were shared from Pakistan,” he said.

Communal clashes had erupted in Nuh and its adjoining areas after a Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) procession was attacked by a mob on July 31, leading to the death of six people, including two home guards and a cleric.

“Following preliminary investigation, we have arrested 510 people while 130 FIRs have been registered,” Vij, a senior leader of the ruling BJP in Haryana, said on the last day of the assembly’s Monsoon session.

“On the basis of investigations and questioning of the arrested accused and the conclusions which can be drawn, it appears that perhaps the Congress had a hand in this,” he said when asked about Congress MLA Mamman Khan being given a notice by the Haryana Police to join the probe.

Khan from the opposition Congress in the state represents Ferozepur Jhirka in the Haryana assembly.

“Because a sitting MLA of the Congress, Mamman Khan, has been given a notice by police to join the investigation. Many others who have been arrested have a connection with the Congress and these include those who indulged in acts of arson and vandalism,” Vij said.

The minister said that before the July 31 incident, Khan was spotted “on July 28, 29 and 30” in areas where the violence took place.

“He (Khan) has been in live contact with people at these places. We are conducting an impartial probe from various angles. We will show before the people that who was the mastermind,” Vij said.

On Bajrang Dal member Monu Manesar, booked in the February killing of two Muslim men from Rajasthan and accused by some to be a trigger for the Nuh violence, the minister said a case against him has been registered in Rajasthan. There is no objection if the Rajasthan Police takes action in its case, he said.

Nasir (25) and Junaid alias Juna (35) — both residents of Ghatmeeka village in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan, were allegedly abducted by cow vigilantes and their bodies were found inside a burnt car in Loharu in Haryana’s Bhiwani on the morning of February 16.

Nine people, including Manesar who runs a cow protection group, were booked in the case by the Rajasthan Police. However, Manesar, in a video message, had denied his involvement in the case.

On a video of Manesar that he would join the procession in Nuh, which was widely circulated on social media, Vij said if he has done anything wrong, action will be taken.

Targeting the opposition party, he said there were five to six incidents of violence during the previous Congress regime in Haryana. The Congress has not given any answer to these incidents, he said.

India is a secular country having diverse cultures and “everyone has the freedom to practice the religion of their choice and carry on their religious activities”, the minister said.

“When a religious procession was taken out and they wanted to do ‘jalabhishek’ in temples, why were bullets fired? Why stones were hurled at them? Why shops were burnt? these are the questions,” Vij said referring to the Nuh incident.

MLA Khan had posted on Facebook that “I fought your battle in the Vidhan Sabha and in the fight here too I am with you”, Vij said and asked what it meant.

To a question about the presence of some people from Rajasthan during the Nuh violence, he said many people from Rajasthan were called and this is being investigated.

On opposition parties claiming that “intelligence failure” led to the Nuh incident, Vij said, “The CID report goes to the chief minister. The CID department is also with the chief minister. He can tell whether there was any (intelligence) report or not.” Asked whether the Haryana government was not responsible for ensuring adequate security cover to the July 31 procession, “Yes, it was. But a big conspiracy was hatched. Otherwise, every year, the yatra is taken out and police personnel are deployed, and this year too, there was deployment.” On the Congress party’s demand for a judicial probe into the Nuh incident, the home minister said police are conducting investigations.

Earlier during the Zero Hour in the ongoing assembly session, Congress MLA from Nuh, Aftab Ahmad, without naming anyone, said nobody will benefit out of the type of hate which is being spread in the state.

“Haryana is a peace loving state, in which everyone lives peacefully,” he said.

Referring to the Nuh violence, another Congress MLA Mohd Illyas said he condemns what had happened. Communities have been coexisting peacefully for several decades in the Mewat region and they will continue to do so in future as well, he said.

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