Haryana CM appeals for peace after Chautala ruling

New Delhi, Jan 22 (IANS) Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda Tuesday appealed for peace as supporters of former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala staged violent protests over the 10-year jail sentence given to him and his son in a corruption case.

"All are equal for court, and we have faith in the judiciary. We will appeal to the people to maintain peace, Haryana is a peaceful state," Hooda, who is presently in Delhi, told reporters after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Rohini gave its ruling on the teachers' recruitment scam.

"There are legal processes, if anyone has objection they can follow legal procedures," he added.

Over 600 supporters of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief Chautala and his legislator son Ajay gathered outside the court in Rohini and tried to enter the premises of the court. Delhi Police fired teargas shells, used batons and water cannons to disperse them.

INLD legislator Col. Bir Singh said the central government had manipulated the CBI and Chautala was innocent.

"Several former CBI directors have accepted that CBI works under the pressure of central government. The case of bribery has not been proved here... it is only recruitment of teachers, and none of them have been fired from their job so far," he said.

"We will go to the high court and, if needed, the Supreme Court," he said.

"The supporters are peace loving. Delhi Police resorted to lathi-charge and we condemn it," he said.

Haryana Janhit Congress leader Kuldip Bishnoi welcomed the court decision.

"I welcome the decision of the court. There is no future for INLD in Haryana now. This judgment will not only have an impact on Haryana but all over the country," he said.

He also ruled out the Chautala family getting any sympathy from the people.

"There will be no sympathy factor. What kind of sympathy will they get? They are going to jail for corruption," he said.

Chautala and others were convicted for bribery and tampering with lists to accommodate their favourites and those who had paid money to get recruited as teachers in Haryana's government schools. The recruitment was done for over 3,200 teachers in 1999-2000, when Chautala was chief minister.

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