Shrikant Jadhav was pulled up by a probe panel for failing to tackle the Jat agitation as IG of Rohtak. Now, after a clean chit, he’ll be chief of the Gau Seva Aayog.

Chandigarh: Shrikant Jadhav, a senior Haryana IPS officer, who as IG of Rohtak was suspended for dereliction of duty during the violent Jat reservation agitation of February 2016, is all set to take over as the chief enforcement officer (CEO) of the state’s Gau Seva Aayog.

The 1994 batch officer will ensure the total implementation of the provisions of the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Act passed by the state in 2015, banning cow slaughter.

The move, approved by the chief minister’s office, is awaiting an amendment in the rules which govern the commission so that the CEO post can be legally created.

Handpicked despite ‘utter failure’

Jadhav is known to have worked for cow welfare earlier, and has been specially chosen for the new job. As IG, Rohtak range, he launched ‘Mission Stray Cattle’ to shift stray cattle to cow shelters. He had earlier done the same while posted in Hisar and other districts.

However, his achievements in protecting cows as IG Rohtak were overshadowed by his failure to lead the police force effectively during the Jat agitation.

Prakash Singh, former DGP of Uttar Pradesh, conducted an inquiry into the acts of omission and commission of civil and police officers during the Jat agitation, and his report stated that Jadhav “utterly failed in the hour of crisis”.

The report said:

“Rohtak was the epicentre of the entire agitation across Haryana. There is a strong impression, which appears quite credible, that had the agitation been dealt with effectively in Rohtak and contained there, the chain reaction of the kind that took place would not have happened. May be, the other districts would yet have been affected but perhaps not to the extent they did. Shrikant Jadhav, IGP Rohtak Range was the senior-most police officer present in Rohtak,” the Prakash Singh report notes.

“Had he risen to the occasion, the complexion of events would probably have been very different. However, unfortunately, Sh. Shrikant Jadhav got obsessed with the feeling that the rioters were out to kill him. Talking to a senior officer in Chandigarh, he is reported to have said, ‘Sir, you have no idea the situation we are facing. Death is staring me in the face.’ The senior officers, Sh. A.K. Singh, IAS and Sh. B.S. Sandhu, IPS, who were deputed by the state government to go to Rohtak and assist the local administration, found Shrikant Jadhav ‘very unstable and highly emotional’.

“The IGP made the terrible blunder of even calling the SP Jhajjar to come to his support with whatever strength of policemen he could spare. The SP complied and moved with 350 policemen. While the SP Jhajjar was away from his jurisdiction, Jhajjar district also started witnessing trouble. The committee found that the IGP, at his residence, was protected by one company of BSF and more than 400 Haryana Police personnel. This was absolutely amazing. An officer who was supposed to be protecting the citizens of Rohtak was concentrating on protecting himself.

“No wonder, the state government got exasperated and had him recalled. Shrikant Jadhav was subsequently placed under suspension. The committee was greatly disappointed with the way Shrikant Jadhav acquitted himself. He utterly failed in the hour of crisis.”

A departmental inquiry was launched against Jadhav following his suspension. However, enjoying brazen support of the government, Jadhav’s suspension was revoked in May 2016 on “technical grounds”, a day before the Prakash Singh committee submitted its report to the government. Jadhav was posted as IG of the State Crime Record Bureau, a post he continues to hold even as a departmental inquiry was pending against him.

Clean chit

Recently, Jadhav received a clean chit, and is now all set to get back to work, with cow welfare as his full-time job. “The inquiry officer T.C. Gupta has given a clean chit to Jadhav. But the inquiry is yet to be filed,” said state DGP B.S. Sandhu.

“Once the rules are amended, the aayog will have a CEO. Jadhav’s name has been cleared by the CMO to join as first CEO of the commission,” said Dr Kalyan Singh, director of the commission.

This is, however, not the first time the police has been roped in to protect cows in the state. Earlier, the Khattar government assigned DIG Bharti Arora to head the cow protection police task force, to check cow slaughter and smuggling. She is currently on long leave.

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