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Posted On : 7 Oct, 2017  Source : IANS  Place : Chandigarh 
Haryana reinstates police officer suspended after Dera violence

The Haryana government on Saturday announced re-instatement of IPS officer Ashok Kumar, suspended on August 26 for a "grave mistake" related to thousands of Dera Sacha Sauda sect followers assembling in Panchkula town ahead for the CBI court verdict in the rape case against sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

A state government spokesman said that the 2007-batch IPS officer has been "reinstated in service with immediate effect, subject to the final outcome of departmental proceedings pending against him".

Ashok Kumar has been posted as Commandant, 1st Battalion Haryana Armed Police, Ambala, relieving Abhishek Jorwal from the additional charge of the post.

The Haryana government drew flak for not showing any political will to handle the situation related to the verdict of the CBI special court in Panchkula on the rape case against the Dera chief.

Following the large-scale violence in Panchkula and other places, in which 38 people were killed and 264 injured, after Ram Rahim was convicted on two counts of rape, the Haryana government had suspended Ashok Kumar.

The then Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Ram Niwas, had said that the police officer has been suspended owing to a "grave mistake". Ashok Kumar, who had issued the order under Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code imposing prohibitory orders in Panchkula district before the verdict, was blamed for issuing a faulty order.

The order did not specify that assembly of five or more people in Panchkula district was prohibited. Ashok Kumar's suspension came after the Punjab and Haryana High Court took the BJP government in Haryana led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to task for abdicating its responsibility in containing the assembly of thousands of Dera followers in Panchkula town, adjoining Chandigarh, days ahead of the August 25 court verdict against the sect chief.

The high court has come down heavily on the Khattar government for not doing enough to prevent the violence and not taking adequate action when the violence started. It even questioned the political will of the Khattar government in dealing effectively with the situation.

The CBI court had convicted Ram Rahim for rape of two female disciples in 1999. He was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of over RS 30 lakh.