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India: The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) political party in Haryana, including treatment of members by opponents of the party; incidents of violence between INLD members and Congress Party members in Haryana (2009-October 2013)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Publication Date 30 October 2013
Citation / Document Symbol IND104626.E
Related Document(s) Inde : information sur le parti politique Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) en Haryana, y compris le traitement réservé à ses membres par les opposants du parti; les incidents de violence entre des membres de l'INLD et les membres du Parti du Congrès (Congress Party) en Haryana (2009-octobre 2013)
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, India: The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) political party in Haryana, including treatment of members by opponents of the party; incidents of violence between INLD members and Congress Party members in Haryana (2009-October 2013), 30 October 2013, IND104626.E , available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/538c35bf4.html [accessed 27 May 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

1. Overview

According to the website of the INLD, the party was founded in 1998 and is "dedicated to the all-round uplift of farmers, labourers, rural and urban areas and the downtrodden and exploited" and is supportive of "the right of peaceful and democratic dissent" and "non-violent resistance" (INLD n.d.a). Europa World describes the INLD as working in the interests of farmers and labourers (Europa n.d.a). The party is based in Haryana (INLD n.d.b).

The INLD is the main opposition party in Haryana (INLD n.d.a; The Indian Express 13 Mar. 2012; IANS 26 July 2013). In the Legislative Assembly in Haryana, the INLD has 31 of 90 seats, while the lead party, Congress, has 40 seats (Europa n.d.b; Rediff.com 23 Oct. 2009).

The Indian Express notes that the INLD is "seen as the party of the Jats," a politically-influential caste accounting for 22 percent of Haryana's population (The Indian Express 13 Mar. 2012). India Today, an English-language weekly magazine, refers to the INLD's leader as "the most influential Jat leader" (4 Feb. 2013).

2. Leadership

Om Parkash Chautala is the National President of the INLD (INLD n.d.a; Europa World n.d.a.; PHW 2012, 637). He was also the former Chief Minister of Haryana (ibid.; BBC 22 Jan. 2013; Domain-B 22 Jan. 2013). Ajay Singh Chautala is the Secretary General (INLD n.d.a.; Europa World n.d.a; PHW 2012, 637). Ajay Chautala is the son of Om Parkash Chautala (The Asian Age 23 Jan. 2013; BBC 22 Jan. 2013; Domain-B 22 Jan. 2013). Ashok Kumar Arora is the State President of the INLD for Haryana (INLD n.d.a).

Media sources report that on 22 January 2013, Om Prakesh Chautala and Ajay Chautala were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on charges of corruption related to the illegal appointment of over 3,000 teachers in 1999-2000 (India Blooms 22 Jan. 2013; BBC 22 Jan. 2013; The Asian Age 23 Jan. 2013; Domain-B 22 Jan. 2013). In addition, 53 others were also found guilty as part of the scam (BBC 22 Jan. 2013; The Asian Age 23 Jan. 2013; India Blooms 22 Jan. 2013). According to Navi Mumbai-based business magazine Domain-B, Chautala and his son could be disqualified from contesting the Assembly elections in 2014 if their conviction is upheld by a higher court (Domain-B 22 Jan. 2013).

3. Structure

The INLD's website describes a "primary member" of the party as:

Any person of age 18 or above, who believes in the aims and objectives of the INLD and is not a member of any other political or communal organization which has separate membership and a separate constitution and who does not participate in the activities of such organization, can become a Primary member of the INLD on filling the form 'A' and paying a biennial subscription of Rs. 20 /- only. (INLD n.d.b)

An "active member" is described as someone who recruits 25 primary members and signs a declaration form (ibid.)

The website notes that the INLD structure is composed of units at different levels (ibid.). The "primary units" are committees at the village/ward level, while the "intermediate units" consist of constituency councils and executives (ibid.). There are further units at the district, state, and national level, each involving councils and executives (ibid.). The website indicates that members and committees are generally appointed on two-year terms (ibid.).

4. Treatment of INLD Members and Incidents of Violence

4.1 Incidents in 2009

The Times of India reports that in July 2009, a municipal councillor of the INLD was attacked by four to five unidentified youths in Abhaypur village when driving back to the village (The Times of India 6 July 2009). The motive was not specified in the article (ibid.). Further information about the incident could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

4.1.1 Violence During October 2009 Elections

Indian media sources report of clashes between the INLD and Congress during the October 2009 elections (IANS 13 Oct. 2009; UNI 14 Oct. 2009; The Times of India 15 Oct. 2009). Clashes between the two parties occurred in Nima Kheri and other villages in Mewat district (IANS 13 Oct. 2009; The Times of India 15 Oct. 2009), and four people were reportedly injured in these clashes (IANS 13 Oct. 2009). According to the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), the police intervened to control the situation (IANS 13 Oct. 2009). Clashes between the INLD and Congress also occurred in Jind (UNI 14 Oct. 2009; Hindustan Times 16 Oct. 2009), and a complaint was made to the police that Congress supporters threw stones at INLD supporters (UNI 14 Oct. 2009). In another example of election-related violence, Hindustan Times, a daily Indian newspaper, reports that an INLD worker was injured when assailants fired bullets in the Ferozepur Jhirka assembly constituency (Hindustan Times 16 Oct. 2009).

The United News of India (UNI) notes that in retaliation for the injury of a relative during a clash between the INLD and Congress, the Haryana Transport and Education Minister and his son and grandsons allegedly attempted to murder an INLD leader in Jind and ransacked his home (UNI 14 Oct. 2009). The alleged perpetrators were reportedly arrested (ibid.). Corroboration could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

4.2 Clashes Between Haryana Home Minister and INLD Protesters in 2010

Media sources report that Haryana Home Minister Gopal Kanda allegedly ordered the police to fire on protesting INLD workers on 3 April 2010 during a bandh [general strike] in Sirsa (The Indian Express 7 Apr. 2010; UNI 10 Apr. 2010). According to the Times of India, the workers were demonstrating against the "erratic power supply" in Sirsa (10 Aug. 2012). The incident was reportedly recorded by a television camera (The Indian Express 7 Apr. 2010). The Minister denied the accusations (ibid.; The Times of India 6 Aug. 2012).

UNI reports that in reaction to this incident, the INLD called on the Haryana Governor to dismiss the Home Minister and to register criminal complaints against Kanda, his brother and others for ordering security personnel to physically beat an unarmed citizen and for firing on unarmed people in Sirsa (UNI 10 Apr. 2010). The INLD presented a CD and photographs of the events (ibid.). According to UNI, the INLD accused Congress of ignoring the evidence and, instead, of fabricating charges against and arresting victims of the violence (ibid.). The Times of India, following up on the incident in 2012, reports that the lawyer of an alleged assault victim, who is described as an INLD activist, said that the police filed false charges against the victim and pursued the victim's family members (The Times of India 10 Aug. 2012). The lawyer noted that the victim filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court five days after the assault, but the High Court dismissed the petition and directed the claimant to the trial court (ibid.). The daily newspaper The Hindu reports that, according to the victim, Gopal Kanda "'joined in the attack and caused serious injuries to the petitioner on the vital parts of his body--ears, chest and private parts'" (10 Aug. 2012). Indian media sources report that in 2012, the Supreme Court issued a "notice" to Kanda on a petition seeking to register charges against him for the assault (The Hindu 10 Aug. 2012; The Times of India 10 Aug. 2012; IANS 9 Aug. 2012). Further information on the incident could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

4.3 Attack of INLD Member of the Legislative Assembly in Delhi in 2013

Media sources report that in June 2012, Bharat Singh, an INLD Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) and his uncle were chased and shot by a group of assailants who were waiting for the legislator near his party office in Delhi (The Statesman 2 June 2012; The Hindu 3 June 2012). Estimates of the number of assailants range from seven to eight (The Statesman 2 June 2012) to as many as over two dozen (The Hindu 3 June 2012). The motive of the crime was believed to be "personal rivalry" (The Statesman 2 June 2012) or "personal enmity" (The Hindu 3 June 2012). According to The Hindu, the MLA suffered injuries to his kidney, liver, stomach, large intestine and arm and was hospitalized in "critical but stable" condition (ibid.). His uncle also suffered bullet wounds to the stomach (ibid.). The INLD president Chautala said that the attack was an example of the growing "lawlessness" in Congress-ruled states (The Statesman 2 June 2012).

4.4 Violent Protests in Reaction to the 2013 Conviction of Chautala

Media sources report that when Chautala and his son were sentenced for corruption on 22 January 2013, his supporters demonstrated outside the Delhi court, clashing with police (India Blooms 22 Jan. 2013; BBC 22 Jan. 2013; The Asian Age 23 Jan. 2013). According to India Blooms, an Indian news portal, there were "thousands" of Chautala supporters protesting (22 Jan. 2013). The protestors reportedly threw stones and crude bombs near the court (The Asian Age 23 Jan. 2013; Domain-B 22 Jan. 2013; India Blooms 22 Jan. 2013). Police used tear gas and batons to control the protesters (ibid.; BBC 22 Jan. 2013; The Asian Age 23 Jan. 2013). According to the Asian Age, a publication based in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and London, eight policemen were reportedly injured during the clashes (23 Jan. 2013). Domain-B reports that during this time, all vehicles seen to be carrying INLD supporters were reportedly stopped on the spot by Delhi police (Domain-B 22 Jan. 2013).

The protesters alleged a political conspiracy against the Chautala family (ibid.). India Today notes that Chautala's second son, Abhey Singh, along with "second-rung INLD politicians" claimed that the verdict was "proof of how Congress employs CBI [Central Bureau of Investigation] to target opponents" (4 Feb. 2013). Similarly, The Pioneer reports that the INLD claimed that Chautala was a "victim of Congress machinations" (18 Feb. 2013). IANS reports that as of July 2013, Chautala and his son were imprisoned in Delhi, and the Haryana government did not accept a proposal by the Delhi government to transfer them to a prison in Haryana (26 July 2013).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

The Asian Age. 23 January 2013. "10-Year Jail for Chautala, Son." (Factiva)

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). 22 January 2013. "OP Chautala: India Politician Jailed for Corruption." [Accessed 11 Oct. 2013]

Domain-B. 22 January 2013. "Teaching Scam: Ex-CM Chautala, Son Given 10-Year Jail Term." (Factiva)

Europa World. N.d.a. "Indian National Lok Dal." [Accessed 22 Oct. 2013]

_____. N.d.b. "Legislative Assembly." [Accessed 11 Oct. 2013]

The Hindu. 10 August 2012. J. Venkatesan. "Court Notice to Kanda for Attempt to Murder." (Factiva)

_____. 3 June 2012. Ashok Kumar. "Delhi MLA Shot at, Critically Injured." (Factiva)

Hindustan Times. 16 October 2009. "70% Turnout, Clash Leaves Polling Agent Dead in Guhla." (Factiva)

India Blooms News Service. 22 January 2013. "Chitala, Son Get 10 Yrs, Supporters Clash." (Factiva)

India Today. 4 February 2013. "End of Free Run." (Factiva)

The Indian Express. 13 March 2012. Chitleen K. Sethi. "The Jat Protest Cycle." (Factiva)

_____. 7 April 2010. Mukesh Bhardwaj. "Hooda Under Pressure to Drop Minister for Using Abusive Language." (Factiva)

Indian National Lok Dal (INLD). N.d.a. "Indian National Lok Dal." [Accessed 11 Oct. 2013]

_____. N.d.b. "About INLD." [Accessed 22 Oct. 2013]

Indo-Asian News Service (IANS). 26 July 2013. "Jailed in Delhi, Unwanted in Haryana." (Factiva)

_____. 9 August 2012. "Apex Court Notice to Kanda, Brother in Assault Case." (Factiva)

_____. 13 October 2009. "65 Percent Vote in Haryana Till Evening." (Factiva)

Political Handbook of the World (PHW). 2012. "India," pp. 626-645. Edited by Tom Lansdorf. Washington, DC: CQ Press. [Accessed 11 Oct. 2013]

The Pioneer. 18 February 2013. "Eye on 2014 Polls: Political Activity Picks up in Haryana." (Factiva)

Rediff.com. 23 October 2009. "Congress Stakes Claim to Form Govt in Haryana." [Accessed 23 Oct. 2013]

The Statesman. 2 June 2012. "MLA Shot at in Delhi." (Factiva)

The Times of India. 10 August 2012. "SC Sends Notice to Kanda in 2010 Sirsa Rioting Case." (Factiva)

_____. 6 August 2012. Sanjay Yadev. "Angry Indian National Lok Dal Members Burn Gopal Kanda's Effigy." (Factiva)

_____. 15 October 2009. Sukhbir Siwach. "Minor Skirmishes as 70% Turn Up in Haryana." (Factiva)

_____. 6 July 2009. "Panchkula Councillor Attacked in Village." (Factiva)

United News of India (UNI). 10 April 2010. "INLD Memorandum to Governor to Remove Kanda." (Factiva)

_____. 14 October 2009. "Haryana Minister, 60 Others Booked for Poll-related Violence." (Factiva)

Additional Sources Consulted

Internet sites, including: Amnesty International; Asian Centre for Human Rights; Asian Human Rights Commission; ecoi.net; Freedom House; Human Rights Watch; India - High Court of Punjab and Haryana, National Human Rights Commission; Indian Election; United Nations - Refworld; US - Department of State.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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