Jat Reservation stir: Hooda aide faces arrest in sedition case, NIA may step in

The BJP government in Haryana seems keen on getting the sedition case registered against Prof Virender, a political aide of former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the backdrop of the recent large-scale violence, arson and loot in several parts of the state during the Jat reservation agitation. If taken up by the NIA, the probe may expand to the larger “conspiracy” leading to the violence.

Meanwhile, a police team was sent on Wednesday to nab Virender. Rohtak superintendent of police (SP) Shashank Anand said the arrest warrants against Virender were issued on Wednesday as he failed to join the probe even as the special investigation team (SIT) had given him extra time of two days till February 29.

The Hooda aide was booked by Rohtak police on February 24 under section 124-A (sedition) of the IPC besides other sections for allegedly inciting violence after an audio conversation clip purportedly featuring him surfaced.

In the audio clip of a mobile phone conversation with a Sirsa man being addressed as Kaptan Sahib, Prof Virender is allegedly asking him to flare up the ongoing Jat agitation in the state. Under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act, the state government has to send a report to the Union ministry of home affairs, if a case under a scheduled offence listed in the Act is registered by the state police. Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code is listed as a scheduled offence in the NIA Act.

Earlier in the day, SP Anand said 750 FIRs had been lodged so far in connection with the Jat agitation. However, he did not confirm the number of those who were arrested.

Officials said the state government will on Thursday communicate to the MHA the registration of the sedition case. As per section 6 of the NIA Act, after getting the report from the Haryana government, the central government within 15 days will determine whether the offence reported by the state is a scheduled offence or not and whether it is a fit case to be investigated by the NIA, keeping in mind the gravity of the offence and other factors. “If the Central government is of the opinion that the offence is a scheduled offence and it is a fit case to be investigated by NIA, it shall direct the agency to investigate the offence,’’ said an official.

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