The Hisar deputy commissioner (DC) on Monday claimed before the Punjab and Haryana high court that there was no social boycott of Dalits by the dominant community in Bhagana village of Hisar district.
In his report submitted to the high court (HC), DC Chander Shekhar Khare stated that almost all families reported to have left the village were in fact residing there.
“Allegations leveled by the samiti (petitioner) that there was a social boycott is false and frivolous. Actually, there was no social boycott of the Dalits by the dominant community, which is evident from the fact that around 1,600 Dalits are living in the village in peace and harmony,”Khare claimed in the report, which was sought by the HC after earlier reports of the state government were disputed by the petitioners.
The submissions were made during the hearing of a petition filed by Ambedkar Welfare Samiti, Bhagana, wherein it was alleged that Dalits were unable to go back to their villages owing to threats from dominant castes. The HC was approached in 2014 seeking security and investigation into the criminal cases registered on account of the gangrape of four minor Dalit girls on March 23, 2014. Around 90 families had reportedly left the village on the night of March 25 due to lack of security. In August 2015, nearly 100 Dalit families of the village had embraced Islam at a function held in Delhi. The families cited “injustice” for the conversions.
The DC has told the HC that almost all the families exercised their right to franchise during the recent panchayat elections. Khare has also cited reports of various local officers to substantiate his claims. It has been stated that as per the district food and supply controller (DFSC) report about these 233 families, only 25 were not taking their ration from the local depot holder.
Another report on record is that of the Hisar district programme officer (DPO), who has stated that except 25 families all other are residing in the village.
In his report, the district revenue officer (DRO) has stated that out of these 233 families, 24 were not found to be residing in the village and one family had left the village prior to this incident. The report of electricity department stated that 134 families had regular connections, electric meters of 59 families were out of order and 99 families had no regular connection.
The matter will come up for further hearing in the court on February 25.