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Haryana

Hooda’s aide Virender, 2 others discharged in sedition, rioting case

December 07, 2019 05:26 AM

COURTESY HT DEC 7
jat quota stir 2016 The case hinged on an audio recording of a telephonic conversation between Virender and khap leader Dalal

Sunil Rahar

Sunil.kumar3@htlive.com

Rohtak : A local court on Friday discharged former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s close aide and former political advisor professor Virender Singh, khap leader Maan Singh Dalal and local Congress leader Jaideep Dhankar in case of sedition and rioting pertaining to the Jat quota stir in 2016.

The trio appeared in the court of additional sessions judge Ritu YK Behl. “Vide a separate order of even dates, the three accused Virender, Jaideep and Mann Singh are discharged,” the order issued by Behl stated.

The sedition case against the trio hinged on the audio recording of a telephonic conversation, which was aired by Haryana-based TV channel on February 21, 2016, between Singh and Dalal, in which the former talks about the arson and violence during the Jat quota stir.

Dhankhar got involved in the case as Singh had used his mobile phone for talking to Dalal. An FIR was registered against the trio in February 2016 basis of a complaint lodged by Capt Pawan Kumar Anchal of Bhiwani.

While Singh was arrested and later released on bail, Dalal and Dhankhar were on anticipatory bails.

“Even the agitation was peaceful when the audio clip between two leaders went viral on February 18 at 5.33 pm. As per police record, professor had spoken to 41 people from February 12 to 25 but none of them are accused or witnesses in any of the cases lodged during the agitation,” Singh’s counsel said, also maintaining that it was a private communication.

Dhankhar has maintained that he had simply handed over his phone to Singh for talking to Dalal, which did not amount to any offence.

“During the stir, my counsel had spoken with 90 people and none of them are accused or witnesses, therefore we want the court to discharge this case against Dhankar,” his counsel said.

All three were booked under Sections 148 (rioting ), 149 (unlawful assembly), 427 (mischief ), 435, 436 (mischief by fire), 395 (dacoity), 124- A (sedition ), 120 - B (criminal conspiracy), 153- A (enmity), 10, 427 of the IPC and under Section 3 of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and 8B of National Highways Authority of India Act. In May this year police had filed a charge-sheet in the court against Singh and said he had played an “important” role in instigating people during the February 2016 Jat reservation violence. The charge-sheet claimed that both Dalal and Singh had told the TV channel that they had spoken to each other and the audio clip contained their voices

 
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