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Haryana and its bitter memoirs of emergency
Haryana has deep and bitter memoirs of emergency. Late veteran political leader Choudhary Bansi Lal was the main member of caucus that ruled or misruled the country during the dark period of emergency. Most of prominent opposition leaders including Morarji Desai, Chandershekher Singh, Piloo Mody, Ramdhan, L.K.Advani, Sikandar Bhakt, Ashok Mehta, Raj Narayan , Biju Patnaik and Devi Lal were kept in Haryana during emergency.

While Morarji Desai was kept under house arrest in a rest house in Gurgaon district, the rest were kept in Rohtak Jail. Bansi Lal, the then chief minister of Haryana who later became the defence minister used to publicly boast that Indira Gandhi asked him to keep jails ready. M.G Devasahayam, Haryana cadre I.A.S officer, who was the then District Magistrate-cum- incharge of Chandigarh jail had written a shocking article in an English daily stating that when Jaiparkash Narayan was shifted to P.G.I. Chandigarh, he got instructions from 'Delhi Durbar' that he should get further instructions from Bansi Lal.

According to Devasahayam, when he called Bansi Lal he was shocked to listen his words in chaste Haryanvi 'Yeh apne aap ko hero smajhta hai. Us ko wahin pade rehne do. Kisi se milne ya telephone karne nahi dena. Aap khatam ho jayega.' (This fellow thinks that he is a hero. Let him lie there. Don't allow him to meet anybody or telephone anyone. He will be finished this way').

M.G. Devasahayam further revealed that on the same night, Chandigarh's Home Secretary conveyed to him another 'diktat' from Bansi Lal that JP should not be allowed to take a walk in the open between sunrise and sunset. During those days Bansi Lal used to describe Jaiprakash Narayan as a mad man in public meetings in Haryana.

Shyam Khosla and M.L. Kak, reporter with The Tribune, a leading English Daily of Northern India were detained. Sheikh Abdullah got Kak shifted to Kashmir while Khosla remained in jail. After the emergency was lifted and the then chief minister, Devilal got Bansi Lal arrested and handcuffed in a cooked up case , Shyam Khosla went to meet Bansi Lal and asked him how he was feeling.

Bansilal in handcuffs retorted ''Khosla I still hate you''. Although there are conflicted versions about Khosla's arrest as independent sources claims that he was arrested because of his association with RSS.

After Bansi Lal was made the defence minister, his dummy BD Gupta, was made Chief Minister and there were family planning excesses during the emergency in Haryana. When the Janta Party government came in power and Shah Commission was appointed to probe emergency excesses, B.D. Gutpa made a sweeping statement before the Commission that he was the dummy chief minister and state was controlled by Surinder Singh, son of Bansi Lal.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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