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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Mirchpur violence: 11th day of Jat protest

IANS  Jind, January 25, 2011
First Published: 12:45 IST(25/1/2011) | Last Updated: 12:46 IST(25/1/2011)

Demonstrations by the Jat community to demand a probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into last year's Mirchpur caste violence entered its 11th day on Tuesday in this Haryana district, which remained cut off from the rest of the state for the third consecutive day.

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Protestors, including scores of women, blocked all the highways, road links and the Delhi-Ferozepur rail line near Jind railway station.

The protest has spread to other districts of the state as well. Protestors have blocked various roads in Hisar, Bhiwani, Fatehabad and Rohtak districts.

In the meantime, Haryana Director General of Police Ranjeev Dalal has appealed to the protestors to resolve the issue peacefully.

"We are taking stock of the situation. Stern action would be taken against those found taking law in their hands. We appeal to them to end their protest and to resolve it through amicable talks," said Dalal.

The Jat mahapanchayat, a congregation of 42 khap panchayats, has demanded a SIT probe into the Mirchpur caste violence in which an elderly Dalit man and his daughter were killed.

The state government has agreed to refer the case to the CBI, but the protestors are adamant on their demand for an SIT probe.

Besides, the protesters have also sought shifting of the court trial from New Delhi to Hisar and the release of arrested Jat youths.

“We have made a 45-member committee that will meet the chief minister to discuss this issue. We will boycott the celebrations of Republic Day and mark it as black day," secretary of the Jat Mahapanchayat Suresh Koth said on Tuesday.

A large contingent of police personnel and six companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in Jind and Hisar districts.

Mirchpur village in Hisar district hit the headlines last year when some people from the dominant upper caste Jat community set fire to a row of houses of Dalit (Balmiki) families April 21.

A 70-year-old man and his 18-year-old physically-challenged daughter were killed in the fire and at least 18 houses were destroyed in the attack.

As many as 150 Dalit families were driven out of the village, about 300 km from Chandigarh, and their homes were torched.

The trial of the youths accused of the arson attack was shifted to New Delhi in December following the directions of the Supreme Court.

A total of 98 Jat youths were arrested in the case and are currently lodged in a jail in New Delhi.


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