Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Friday appealed to the people of Haryana to maintain peace and order and said it was the state government’s responsibility to maintain law and order.

“The priority now is to maintain law and order and peace. I appeal to the people of Haryana to keep calm and see that there is no loss of life or damage to property,” he told reporters shortly after violence broke out in the wake of conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Guru Ram Rahim in a rape and sexual exploitation case.

Hooda said though it was not time for apportioning blame, he felt the government should have prepared and taken steps well in advance to have ensured law and order. Haryana has already suffered because of the government’s “weakness” in the past in times of agitations, he said.