A Delhi court on Monday awarded life sentences to three of the 15 people convicted for burning to death a 70-year-old Dalit man and his physically challenged daughter in a Haryana's Mirchpur village last year.
Kulwinder, Ramphal and Rajender were held guilty under the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Additional sessions judge Kamini Lau also handed down five-year jail terms to five other convicts-Baljeet, Karamveer, Karampal, Dharambir and Bobal-along with a fine of R20,000 each.
Lau let off seven other convicts on probation for one year, during which time the court will observe their behaviour. A fine of Rs 10,000 each was imposed on them.
On April 21 last year, a row of Dalit houses in Hisar district's Mirchpur village, around 300 km from Chandigarh, were set on fire following a dispute between Jat and Dalit communities. Tarachand, 70, and his 18-year-old daughter Suman were killed in the attack.
A total of 92 people were charged in the case, but the court acquitted 82 of them. The remaining 15 members of the Jat community were held guilty on September 24 this year.
According to the chargesheet, a dog belonging to a Dalit had barked at a group of Jats, prompting the attack.
The Supreme Court had transferred the case to Delhi on December 9, 2010 on a plea of victims that a fair trial was not possible in Haryana.