INLD Haryana president Nafe Singh Rathee, party worker shot dead in Jhajjar

INLD Haryana president Nafe Singh Rathee and party worker were killed by unidentified assailants in Bahadurgarh near Delhi

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  26 Feb 2024 3:38 AM GMT
INLD Haryana president Nafe Singh Rathee, party worker shot dead in Jhajjar

Chandigarh: The Indian National Lok Dal's Haryana unit president Nafe Singh Rathee and a party worker were killed when unidentified assailants sprayed their SUV with bullets in Bahadurgarh near Delhi on Sunday, a senior party leader said.

Three private gunmen hired by former MLA Rathee for security also suffered injuries in the attack.

The attack, which came weeks before the Lok Sabha elections, drew sharp reactions from opposition parties, which alleged a breakdown in law and order in the BJP-ruled state.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that not a single culprit involved in this case will be spared. Police have been instructed to arrest the accused as soon as possible and take strictest action, he said.

"Shocked by the sudden demise of...Rathi ji and Shri Jai Kishan. My deepest condolences to the bereaved families. We are with them in this difficult time," Khattar posted on X in Hindi.

Home Minister Anil Vij said he spoke to officials and ordered them to take immediate action in the matter.

He said the Special Task Force is probing the matter and the culprits will be nabbed soon.

INLD leader Abhay Chautala told PTI that Rathee and a party worker accompanying him were shot dead. The party worker was identified as Jai Kishan.

Three private gunmen, whom Rathee had hired for security, also suffered injuries, Chautala said, adding, "No police security had been given to him."

Chautala later visited the hospital in Bahadurgarh where the bodies were kept. Speaking to reporters there, he demanded a CBI probe into the incident.

Rathee, aged 67, was travelling in an SUV when the assailants, who were in a car, attacked him in Bahadurgarh town in Jhajjar district.

"A volley of bullets was sprayed at him," Chautala said.

Doctors at the hospital said that Rathee had suffered injuries in neck, stomach, spine and thigh and suffered heavy blood loss.

Rathee was elected MLA from Bahadurgarh twice in 1996 and 2005.

Chautala accused the government of failing to provide Rathee with security despite there being threat to his life, and demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Home Minister Anil Vij.

"The two-time MLA, who is our state unit chief, was not provided with security. In writing, representations had been made to senior police officers and state home minister that he was facing threats and should be provided with security," he said.

"Rathee had earlier told me that that he was informed by some police personnel that he faces threat. Later, I also spoke to SP Jhajjar over phone and brought this to his notice.... Had he been provided with security, such a situation would not have arisen," Chautala said.

He also said that law and order has broken down in Haryana and today that has been proved yet again.

Jhajjar Superintendent of Police Arpit Jain told reporters that teams of the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) and the Special Task Force (STF) of the police were looking into the incident.

"Multiple teams are probing. We are probing all angles and we will try to arrest the accused soon," he said.

The opposition Congress and Aam Aadmi Party also hit out at the Manohar Lal Khattar government over the incident.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged that the BJP has ruined law and order in Haryana.

In a post on X, Kejriwal said the death of INLD leader Nafe Singh in firing in Haryana "is very sad. I express my condolences to his family and supporters."

Kejriwal alleged the BJP has ruined the state's law and order and said the police force which should be deployed to nab goons has been stationed on the Haryana-Punjab border to stop protesting farmers.

Senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda while expressing deep grief at Rathee's killing, said, "The news of INLD state president Nafe Singh Rathee being shot dead in Haryana is very sad. This reflects the law and order of the state...Today no one is feeling safe in the state."

Senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala alleged that Haryana has fallen prey to anarchy.

He said criminals are ruling the roost and law and order has collapsed in Haryana.

Another senior Congress leader, Kumari Selja, alleged that anarchy has increased so much in the state that fearless miscreants fired several rounds of bullets at Rathee.

The BJP has created jungle raj in the state, she alleged.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sushil Gupta said that "rule of law has ended in Haryana and jungle raj prevails".

"No one is safe in Haryana today," he added.

In January last year, the Haryana Police had registered an FIR against six people, including Rathee, under the charges of abetment to suicide following the death of Jagdish, the son of former minister Mange Ram.

Police had then said Jagdish's family had levelled allegations that some accused were trying to harass him in a property-related matter and as a result he was under great stress.

Abhay Chautala had then alleged that the FIR was registered as part of a political conspiracy.

(Inputs from PTI)

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