Modi tweets to condemn violence in Haryana


Prime Minister Narendra Modi tonight strongly condemned the “deeply distressing” violence that swept Haryana and some other states after conviction of self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case and appealed for peace.

Modi reviewed the situation with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and said officials have been asked to work round-the-clock to restore normalcy.

“The instances of violence today are deeply distressing. I strongly condemn the violence & urge everyone to maintain peace,” he tweeted.

“The law & order situation is being closely monitored. I reviewed the situation with the NSA & Home Secretary,” the prime minister said.

“Urged officials to work round-the-clock to restore normalcy and provide all possible assistance that is required,” he added.

At least 30 people were killed and over 250 injured in violence that took place in Haryana after the maverick head of Dera Sacha Sauda was convicted of rape in a 2002 case.

Arson was also witnessed in Delhi, Punjab and Rajasthan within a few hours of the pronouncement of the judgement by the CBIcourt here in the 2002 case.

Modi, however, did not comment on the CBI court’s verdict convicting Ram Rahim Singh in rape case. The prime minister also did not condemn his MP Sakshi Maharaj’s statement threatening the court of more violence and addressing a rape convict as ‘noble soul.’ Ram Rahim’s relationship with the BJP is not new as several BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi have praised the rapist baba from public platforms in the past.

Addressing an election rally in October 2014, Modi had said, “Mein guru maharaj Ram Singhji Mastanji ke Sacha Sauda ko pranam karta hun (I salute Ram Singhji, Mastanji’s Sacha Sauda).”

He had also praised Dera chief later in a tweet while applauding the contribution to his pet scheme Swacch Bharat by latter’s followers.

Last year on 28 August, Haryana Health and Sports Minister Anil Vij had drawn flak from Congress after he donated Rs 50 lakh from his discretionary fund to a religious sect in the state for promoting rural games.

A day later, another cabinet colleague of Manohar Lal Khattar, Manish Grover had followed suit by donating Rs 11 lakh from his discretionary fund.

Ram Rahim Singh is believed to have more than 5 crore followers spread across the world. The BJP had left no stone unturned to woo the controversial baba to extract electoral mileage in Haryana, where it formed the government in 2014 for the first time with majority of its own.

This explains why Modi has been silent since the CBI court convicted Ram Rahim of rape. Modi was also very close to another self-proclaimed guru, Asaram, who’s languishing in jail.

(With PTI inputs)

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