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Flashback 2014: Politics, 'godman' issue, SGPC kept Haryana in news


Chandigarh, Dec 17: 2014 was an eventful year in Haryana both on the political front and otherwise as BJP captured power relegating Congress and INLD to the fringes while 'godman' Rampal episode and the separate SGPC issue also made headlines.

BJP replicated in the Assembly elections its good showing in the Lok Sabha polls as it decimated major contenders Congress and INLD, pushing them into political wilderness.

Issues that kept Haryana in news
However, the Manohar Lal Khattar-led government was put to test shortly after taking over in late October with the standoff over the issue of Rampal, who was holed up inside his Satlok Ashram in Hisar's Barwala for days after failing to appear before Punjab and Haryana High Court in connection with a contempt of court case.

The nearly 10-day-long siege in the ashram in November, during which Rampal's private commandos and staunch followers clashed with police resisting attempt to arrest the 63-year-old 'godman', left more than 200 people including a few journalists injured.

The siege, during which six, including five women and an infant also died, finally came to an end with Rampal's arrest from his ashram. He was later put in jail and slapped with more cases including sedition and murder while nearly 1,000 people, most of them his commandos, ashram functionaries and staunch supporters, were arrested.

Earlier in July-August, when the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led government of Congress was in power, formation of separate SGPC by Haryana snowballed into a major controversy triggering violent clashes between warring factions at Kurukshetra.

Akal Takht, highest temporal seat of the Sikhs, Amritsar-based SGPC, apex religious body of the community, Punjab's ruling SAD and some Sikh organisations vehemently opposed formation of the separate body by Hooda government and dubbed it as a move to "divide and weaken" the community.

Towards October end, in a Bollywood-style heist, thieves dug up a 125-feet-long tunnel to a nationalised bank in Sonepat district from an abandoned house and broke into many lockers decamping with cash, jewellery and other valuables.

In December, the case which hogged media limelight involved two college-going sisters who thrashed three youths for allegedly eve-teasing them in a moving bus on Rohtak-Sonepat road.


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