Fact finding Team Condemns Arson, Burning of Dalits Houses and the Gruesome Killing at Mirchpur, in Haryana
The Fact finding team condemns in the strongest possible terms the recent incident of arson, burning of houses and killing of Suman, an 18 year old physically challenged girl and her 70 year old father, Tara Chand. National Dalit Movement for Justice (NDMJ) of NCDHR and Anhad sent a fact finding team to Mirchpur, Hisar on April 24, 2010 to assess the situation arising out of this incident. The fact-finding team comprised Ms. Shabnam Hashmi, Member, National Integration Council, Bhasha Singh, senior journalist with Nayi Duniya; Dr. Umakant, human rights activist; Mr. S. Anand, journalist and publisher of Navayana; Ms. Mansi Sharma of Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD); Dr. Sirivella Prasad, Mr. Ashim Boral, Mudasser Ahmed and Ms. Abirami of NCDHR-NDMJ.
The Fact Finding team found that there is complete sense of insecurity that prevails amongst the Dalits in the village and many have already fled from their houses. The burnt and deserted houses in Mirchpur are a mute witness to the gloom and fearful atmosphere that come in the trail of several such instances of brutal caste violence. Dalits, especially the family of the deceased, are demanding to be settled separately as they fear reprisal from Jats in future too.
The Government of Haryana has acted in a very casual way and only after the determined protest by the Dalits in the Mirchpur village, it was actually forced to book two local officials and also announce relief and compensation package. Mirchpur is not the first and would also not remain the last case of caste violence against Dalits in
Haryana and elsewhere in this country. Haryana has earned notoriety for large and gruesome cases of caste violence against Dalits since a long time and the entire state should be declared atrocity
prone area. Jhajjar, Gohana, Salwan, and many other place where caste violence has become a norm have not faded from memory. We cannot say with any confidence that such incidents will would not recur in the future again.
This is certainly not an isolated incident as the crimes committed against Dalits have been scaling up even after 60 years of independent governance with a progressive Constitution and 20 years of legislation like Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
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