Amid the ongoing Jat reservation protests, an audio tape has surfaced in which Virender Singh, a close aide of Congress leader and former chief minister of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda, can be heard instigating violence. Although the authenticity of the tape has yet to be confirmed – it is muffled with static and needs to be heard carefully to be understood – the state government wants a thorough investigation, PTI reported. The subject was raised at the state cabinet meeting on Monday.

Singh was political advisor to Hooda during his term in office. In the tape, he can be heard speaking with Dalal Khap leader Captain Man Singh, who is one of the leaders of Jat protests from Jhajjar, and trying to worsen the agitation. However, Singh said the recording was doctored and claimed the conversation had taken place when there was peace in the state. “I was, in fact, trying to say that the peace should not be disturbed,” he said.

Spokesperson for the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee Ran Singh Mann said the state government released the audio clip to discredit Hooda at a time when he was staging a dharna in Delhi to restore peace. However, committee chief Ashok Tanwar has issued a show-cause notice to Singh, The Times of India reported. The notice highlights the allegations against Singh and directs him to reply within three days of receiving this letter, failing which disciplinary action will be initiated. It says, “As you are a member of the Congress party, such outright irresponsible behaviour is not expected from you.”