2012 yearender: Haryana remained in news mostly for wrong reasons

Bhupinder Singh Hooda

A series of rape incidents, a minister going behind bars in an air hostess suicide case and sexual abuse of women and child inmates in a shelter home brought infamy to Haryana in 2012, overshadowing the glory its sports persons achieved at the London Olympics.

Bhupinder Singh Hooda government remained busy warding off Opposition attacks on many fronts including the law and order scene following a fresh bout of labour unrest at Maruti Suzuki's plant in Manesar in which a senior company executive was killed and cancellation of mutation of a land deal involving Sonia Gandhi son-in-law Robert Vadra's company.

The year also saw senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka taking on the Haryana government for his frequent transfers, Jats reviving their agitation for quota in government jobs, and Haryana Janhit Congress-BJP trying to consolidate their political base in the state.

In July, violence broke out at Maruti Suzuki plant following an alleged scuffle between a worker and a supervisor. A general manager (HR) was killed in the incident and 100 others were injured. The company declared a lockout at the plant which was lifted a month later. During the lockout overall production loss was pegged at around Rs 1,400 crore.

The state government had to face another embarrassment when minister and Independent MLA Gopal Kanda was embroiled in the suicide case of 23-year-old Geetika Sharma. After high drama, Kanda surrendered and is lodged in a jail in Delhi. Geetika in her suicide note said she was ending her life due to "harassment" by Kanda and his aide.

With the Kanda issue yet to die down, a series of rape incidents took place in September-October with the victims including some Dalit girls. Amid an outrage, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi visited the family of a Dalit teenaged girl in Jind district, who had immolated herself after being gangraped.

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