Police tame supporters who attempt to storm court complex

A special CBI court on Tuesday sentenced former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and his son Ajay Chautala to ten years rigorous imprisonment for illegal selection of over 3,000 junior basic trained (JBT) primary school teachers in 1999-2000 by replacing the original selection lists compiled from 18 Haryana districts with fake ones.

Special Judge Vinod Kumar sentenced eight others including Mr. Chautala’s political advisor Sher Singh Badshami, his former OSD Vidya Dhar, and the former Haryana Director of Primary Education Sanjeev Kumar to ten years’ rigorous imprisonment. One person was sentenced to five years and 44 others were sentenced to four years in prison.

But the day was marred by violence after Indian National Lok Dal workers tried to force their way into the court complex and police personnel responded by using tear-gas and lathis. Unlike last Thursday when the police were caught napping by the sudden influx of INLD supporters into the court complex, on Tuesday a heavy police contingent was present, which quickly nipped two strong attempts by supporters to storm the court complex.

The first attempt to enter the Rohini court complex was around 9-30 a.m. which was quickly repulsed by the police. The workers allegedly hurled two bottles containing crude petrol bombs and pelted stones. But they retreated as soon as police waved lathis and fired tear gas at them.

Around 11-30 a.m., after news of the sentencing reached them, the supporters regrouped and made another attempt to get past the police cordon. Again, the police responded quickly, firing tear gas shells to disperse the mob. The police had also sealed border roads with Haryana from Monday night that reportedly prevented more INLD workers from reaching Delhi.

The scam broke after one of the convicts, Sanjiv Kumar, moved the Supreme Court in 2003 with a writ petition alleging that he was pressurised by O. P. Chautala to replace the original award lists with the fake ones. On investigation he was also found to be part of the conspiracy.

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