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Jat stir: Probe reveals policemen deserted their posts, sided with protesters

The ongoing investigation into the Jat agitation that shuddered Haryana in February has heard testaments confirming that a division of the police force virtually agitated during those three days of rampage, walking out on their posts and ignoring orders.

The Prakash Singh panel found that, on average, 60-70 policemen isolated their posts in each district, even as gangs comprising Jats burnt shops, houses, police stations and police posts. The panel, headed by Prakash Singh, a retired IPS officer and Padma Shri recipient, and comprising Additional Chief Secretary Vijai Vardhan and K P Singh has made a list of such deserters, with their names, ranks, belt numbers, places of postings and the days for which they remained off-duty.

The desertions were one reason why the state government immediately required the help of paramilitary forces and the Army, senior officials informed The Indian Express.

The panel is likely to suggest strict action against the personnel who deserted their posts. The state government and police department have not opened any penal action against most of them.

The panel also discovered several cases of wilful non-appearance from scenes of attacks by policemen. A number of deputy superintendents of police told the panel that the police force declined to obey their orders and openly displayed solidarity with their folks. The probe panel is likely to suggest action against the policemen who went missing, which could result in their discharge.

Though there is no exact statistics on the number of Jats in the Haryana Police, they are alleged to dominate at the constable and head constable level.