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Mirchpur violence: No convict surrenders, Delhi HC orders cops to arrest all 9 by September 5

A Dalit resident of the village said over 40 Dalit children have fled the village since the incident, fearing for their lives.

india Updated: Sep 04, 2018 12:06 IST
Bhaskar Mukherjee
Bhaskar Mukherjee
Hindustan Times, Hisar
Mirchpur violence,Delhi HC,Jat community
The streets of Mirchpur village in Hisar wear a deserted look since the Delhi high court verdict.(HT Photo)

An uneasy calm prevailed at the Mirchpur village on Monday as the police met village elders of the Jat community to exhort them to give up those convicted in the caste violence case of 2010.

The Delhi High Court had sentenced 12 persons to life imprisonment on August 24, in an April 21, 2010 incident that took place in the village after a group of villagers belonging to upper caste had allegedly torched over a dozen houses belonging to Dalits, in which 17-year-old physically-challenged girl and her aged father Tara Chand were charred to death.

The trigger for the mayhem was said to be a dispute between upper caste men and a Dalit man over a barking dog.

As the high court’s deadline for the convicts to surrender ended on September 1, the court has now issued arrest warrants against them and directed the Haryana Police to nab the convicts before September 5.

Rajat Kalsan, advocate of the victims, said, “Not even a single one of them surrendered, hence the Delhi High Court has directed the police to arrest them all by September 5.”

A Dalit resident of the village, requesting anonymity said, “Earlier, all those convicted could be seen in the village, but soon after the verdict came out, all of them disappeared.”

He further said that over 40 Dalit children have fled the village since the incident, fearing for their lives. A family also reached Hisar at Dalit leader Vedpal Tanwar’s farmhouse, seeking refuge, he said. “Though the village is constantly under police supervision, yet the Dalit families are not free from fear,” he added.

Sources in the village said almost all the convicts are the only breadwinners of their families and they may move the Supreme Court against the high court verdict.

Meanwhile, sources in the police said the Mirchpur police post SHO, Ranbir Singh, and Narnaund police station SHO Sadhu Ram called a meeting of the elders at the police post to enquire about the whereabouts of the convicts.

When some mediapersons reached the police post to talk to the elders, they refused to talk to them and even maintained distance. Hansi SP Vijender Vij said, “Teams are working round the clock. If they don’t surrender, the police will take appropriate action to comply with the high court orders.”

HC order on August 24

Advocate Rajat Kalsan said the Delhi High Court had convicted 33 persons in the case and sentenced 12 to life imprisonment. Out of them, three are in jail while nine are still at large. Those convicted were identified as Pawan, Kulwinder, Karanveer, Pradeep, Rajpal, Pradeep, Ranbir, Jogel, Sanjay, Satyawaan, Ramphal and Rajender.

Demands for victims

A key witness in the case, Satyawan Singh, said, “The BJP government had announced land for the victims. We want that the land be provided soon without any hassles and with proper facilities. Besides, we also seek a government job to make ends meet.”

Case timeline

April 21, 2010: A 70-year-old man and his 18-year-old physically-challenged daughter burnt alive allegedly by a mob of over 100 people belonging to the Jat community at Mirchpur village of Hisar district. Over 150 Dalit families flee the village and take shelter at a Temple in Delhi after their houses were torched.

August 2010: Haryana police arrest the accused after the Supreme Court pulls it up.

December 8, 2010: SC transfers the case from Hisar to Delhi to ensure fair trial on the plea of families of victims.

December 23, 2010: Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau starts hearing and asks Haryana government to appoint special public prosecutor to conduct the trial.

January 9, 2011: Court orders transfer of the accused to Tihar from a Hisar jail. A total of 98 accused shifted. Out of 103, five are juveniles and one is out on bail.

January 15, 2011: Jat community, to which accused belong, protests the transfer of case, seeks fresh probe.

January 20, 2011: CBI asked to take over the probe.

February1, 2011: Court orders deployment of CRPF at Mirchpur village to protect prosecution witnesses.

March 10, 2011: Trial court passes order on charge against 97 persons.

September 24, 2011: Trial court convicts 15, acquits 82 persons.

October 31, 2011: Three convicts get life term, five awarded five year jail and remaining seven released on probation.

2012: Convicts, victims and state move Delhi HC against their conviction and sentencing.

October 6, 2012: One accused who was earlier absconding, acquitted of all charges by trial court.

May 16, 2018: HC reserves verdict on the appeals.

August 24, 2018: HC upholds conviction and sentence of 13 convicts, reverses acquittal of 20 and convicts them.

First Published: Sep 04, 2018 12:05 IST