The verdict of the Delhi court in the 18-month-old Mirchpur communal clash case on Saturday seems to have provided a major relief to the acquitted 82 and their family members. The scars, however, run deep on both sides.
As many as 97 people of the Jat community were booked for various criminal acts in the case of burning alive of Tara Chand, 70, and his physically-challenged daughter, Suman, 16, of Dalit community, in Mirchpur.
The day began with anxiety and tension because of the upcoming order, in the evening, however, after the verdict was out, an uneasy calm gripped the Jat-dominated 10,000-strong village.
Several members of Dalit families, however, held that some of the arrested youths of the Jat community were innocent and some of the Jat community held that the involvement of some accused could not be ruled out. Both sides agreed the arrest of 97 persons was unjustified.Prem Singh, husband of the village sarpanch Kamlesh, who was present in the court, said the verdict was a relief to many families as their children had been wrongly accused on basis of suspicion.
Elderly Jat couple, Tara Chand and Jivani Devi told HT their four sons Dharamvir, Karamvir, Amir and Dalbir had been arrested. While Amir and Dalbir were acquitted by the court, the couple insisted their other two sons were innocent, too.
“They were asleep when they were picked up,” said Tara Chand.
A tearful Phuli Devi, 85, mother of deceased Dalit Tara Chand, shuddered while she recounted how her son and his daughter had struggled to come out of the blazing house, but were prevented from doing so.
Tara Chand’s nephew Chandra Bhan, 55, and his wife Shila, 53, said they no longer had faith in anyone except God. The next hearing is on September 29.