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HARYANA : Rival factions clash, Jat leader Malik hurt

August 15, 2017 06:16 AM


Sushil Manav

Tribune News Service

Fatehabad, August 14

Jat reservation stir leader Yashpal Malik was among 12 persons injured in a clash between rival factions at an All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS) rally in Samain village of Fatehabad today.

Malik, who was in the village to address a meeting, had barely been felicitated when he was attacked by a group carrying sticks and stones. He was hit on the head and chest. His supporters hastened to form a ring around him and took him to safety. 

It was a free-for-all thereafter with rival factions throwing stones at each other, even as Malik was rushed to Hisar for treatment. The police, deployed in large numbers, were taken aback. It blamed some people sitting in the audience for the trouble. But organisers had another version. 

They alleged “50 outsiders” had attacked Malik and his men. Malik, speaking to The Tribune, accused Sarva Khap spokesperson Sube Singh Samain of engineering the attack at the instance of a BJP leader in connivance with some police officers. He did not name the BJP leader. Samain village is part of the Tohana Assembly segment which is represented by BJP state president Subhash Barala.

“We have given a 72-hour notice to the government to arrest Samain and others and to initiate action against policemen who connived with them. If the government fails to act, we will hold a state-level meeting and decide our future course,” Malik warned. He said they had filed a police complaint.

Addressing a press meet at Hisar, he claimed the assailants intended to kill him. “There were over 100 policemen led by a DSP and an SHO at the site. Strangely, the assailants came in vehicles with pink badges and simply walked out of the venue after the attack. It is obvious the police had prior information about them. It smacks of a political conspiracy.”

The Jat leader’s supporters blocked the Hisar-Chandigarh road near Kanheri village for well over two hours, demanding action. Kuldeep Singh Yadav, SP, said the police had so far received the medico-legal report of only one of the injured. He claimed at least four policemen had been injured too. 

Samain’s cellphone was switched off, but speaking to mediapersons at Tohana, he denied any role in the attack.

JK Abhir, officiating Deputy Commissioner, Fatehabad, said with Samain apprehending violence, the authorities had made elaborate arrangements at the rally. He claimed the police had acted promptly.

Sukhbir Singh Hooda, vice-president of the All-India Jat Mahasabha, said there was widespread resentment against Malik for “bungling funds” collected during the quota agitation and that may have been the reason for the attack.

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