The one-man judicial commission of inquiry into the Mirchpur communal clash of five years ago has held the police and the duty magistrate responsible for the escalation of the tension.
On Friday, the 220-page report of Justice (retd) Iqbal Singh Commission was tabled in the Haryana Vidhan Sabha during its ongoing monsoon session. On April 21, 2010, at Mirchpur village of Hisar district, Dalit Tara Chand (70) and his handicapped daughter, Suman (16) were burnt alive in their house while several other people were injured in the arson and rioting between dominant Jats and oppressed Dalits. Even Parliament took note of the atrocities on the Dalits by the upper-caste group.
The inquiry report based on spot visits and the statements of many people, including the villagers, victims, and witnesses, has held that though there was tension at Mirchpur a day before the clash as well because of an altercation between members of the two communities, the local police failed to alert the seniors; and inaction on the part of the Narnaud police escalated the tension.
Evidence shows that on the morning of the riot, cops at the Narnaud police station had ignored an alert about simmering tension at the village and done nothing, later, to control the situation, reads the report, adding that even the duty magistrate failed to restore peace. "The assertion of the police that they had inadequate force is not correct. They were mute spectators. The duty magistrate did not order fire, which allowed to mob to run riot," says the report, adding that even if women and children were in the mob, the duty magistrate "had no reason to abdicate his duty".
The report suggests that the requisitioned police personnel, some of whom were armed with self-loading rifles, ran away from the spot, which allowed the mob to burn the houses. "Had the Narnaud police deployed adequate force and taken prior action, this unfortunate incident could have been prevented," the commission reported.
The findings suggest, however, that the state government did all it could to provide the victims with relief and restore peace.
The assertion of the police that they had inadequate force is not correct; they were mute spectators
The duty magistrate did not order fire, which allowed to mob to run riot
The requisitioned police personnel, some of whom were armed with self-loading rifles, ran away from the spot, which allowed the mob to burn the houses of the Dalits.