A 55-year-old Dalit woman was killed allegedly by a group of upper caste youths, who crushed her under a car for intervening in a quarrel in Haryana on Tuesday night, police said.
The woman has been identified as Dani Devi of Charkhi Dadri district’s Kakroli Sardara village.
Haryana recorded a sevenfold increase in number of crimes against Dalits and Scheduled Castes in over 15 years, according to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)’s data released last year. Dalits form roughly 20% of the state’s population of 2.5 crore as per the 2011 census.
Giving sequel of the latest crime against a Dalit woman, police quoting family sources said a group of upper-caste youths swooped down on the village in a car on Tuesday night and dragged out from home Devi’s nephew Mahesh who had engaged in a quarrel with them in the morning.
When Devi and other members of the family tried to rescue him, the intruders also assaulted them with logs, police said, adding while leaving the village the inebriated youths mowed down by their car an injured Devi.
The incident sparked tension in the village, the largest Dalit majority village. To prevent any untoward incident, four police personnel have been posted to guard the village.
The village sarpanch said out of 1,100 families, more than 550 were Dalits while rest are Jats, Muslims, Brahmins and others.
DSP Loharu Kuldeep Singh said a case against five named and four unnamed men under section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code and the SC and the ST (prevention of atrocities) Act was registered. Among the five named accused four are Jats — Vedvir, Ravi, Ballu, Ashwini— and one Muslim identified as Salim.
“All the accused and their family members are on the run since the incident,” the DSP said.
The family members said Devi was rushed to a community health centre where she was pronounced dead. Her body was sent to Civil Hospital in Bhiwani for post mortem. The family members of the deceased staged a dharna at the hospital demanding arrests of the accused. After police assured action, they agreed to cremate the body.