M A I N   N E W S

Mirchpur Mayhem
MPs panel sees police hand
Says it colluded with dominant castes
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Won’t go back: Dalits

Five Dalit families from Mirchpur on Monday met panel head Gobind Naskar, saying they felt unsafe in the village and would not live there. They sought to be rehabilitated outside Hisar. Led by OP Shukla, president, Haryana Dalit Bachao Sangarsh Samiti, they petitioned Naskar for a special court to hear their cases.

New Delhi, July 26
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s troubles over the April 21 Mirchpur carnage in Hisar might just be beginning.

After being pulled up by the Congress high command for atrocities on Dalits in the Jat heartland, the CM is in for castigation by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on SC/ST Welfare, which has found the state government and district police prima facie responsible for the April mayhem which claimed the lives of septuagenarian Tara Chand and his 17-year-old differently bled daughter Suman.

The committee, which visited Mirchpur on July 2, has evidence to conclude that the “district police colluded with the dominant caste (read Jats) to target Dalits”. The panel says though the district authorities blame the mayhem on the much-publicised “mongrel story” (claiming the fight started when a Valmiki boy objected to a Jat throwing a brick at his dog), the atrocities would have occurred anyway.

“They said the dog issue triggered the attack, but the attack would have happened anyway. It was waiting to happen. The police colluded with dominant castes,” D. Raja, committee member said.

He said the panel had taken serious view of Haryana continued disregard for the Prevention of Atrocities on SCs/STs Act and the fact that it had no human rights commission.

Panel chairperson Gobinda Chandra Naskar of the Trinamool Congress, in an exclusive interview today, said law and order in Mirchpur on that fateful day “was absolutely out of control”.

“The Hisar police and local SHO didn’t take preventive action despite full knowledge of the crime. They remained idle spectators - first failing to protect the Dalits after the dog incident and then sitting through as the Dalits were killed and their houses set afire by dominant castes,” Naskar said.

He also maintained that Jats in the area needed to be reined in. “The Jats must be controlled and meetings held between Dalits and Jats to encourage harmony. The state should rebuild the trust of Dalits who have abandoned their village. Adequate police deployment is a must.”

The panel will recommend enhancement of compensation. It feels the compensation ordered by Haryana (Rs 10 lakh for death and Rs 3 lakh for rebuilding houses) is too “meagre”. The committee is awaiting a reply from the state government on police inaction, the compensation paid, deploy of police to prevent recurrence of such a crime and plans to rehabilitate the Valmikis unwilling to return to Mirchpur.

The panel report is expected to be submitted within a week.





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