The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Haryana Government and Railways to explain how it would recover the financial losses incurred during the last year's stir called by the upper caste people while protesting against the arrest of their members in connection with the Mirchpur Dalit killings case.
A bench comprising Justice GS Singhvi and Justice AK Ganguly gave the directions following submission of losses incurred by the state and the railways in the apex court.
According to the railways, it suffered a loss of R33.95 crore while the Haryana government's pegged its estimate loss at R45.92 lakh.
"What steps have been taken by the Railways and the state government for the recovery of losses to the public property," the bench asked the counsel for the two. It directed the advocates to file a detailed response to its query before March 7, the next date of hearing.
As per the Haryana government's submission, even its forest department had to spend R90,000 in removing 3,130 trees that were uprooted by protesters. The administration has, however, issued guidelines to ensure that similar protests were not repeated.
The stir by the upper caste members was held in protest of the arrest of 98 persons from their community for allegedly killing a 70-year-old man and his teenaged daughter from the lower caste at Mirchpur village in Hisar on April 21 last year.
The agitation call took place even as the apex court transferred the trial from Haryana to Delhi. Normalcy was restored in the troubled districts on January 26 following the intervention of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who assured the protesters that a committee would be constituted to look into the grievances raised by the upper case members.