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DEAD COW TELLS NO TALES
- Document

Following the report of the killing of five Dalits, namely Dayachand, Virendra, Tota Ram, Raju and Kailash between 9 and 10 pm on October 15, in the police chowki of Duleena in the district of Jhajjar, Haryana, a joint delegation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India visited the affected area on October 17 along with leaders of the All India Democratic Women’s Association to express solidarity with the victims and to register its strong protest and condemnation of the ghastly crime. It was the first delegation that visited the families. Shockingly, other political parties in Haryana have preferred to remain silent on the crime.

The members of the delegation were Inderjeet Singh and Raghubir Singh Choudhary [Haryana state secretaries of the CPI(M) and CPI respectively], Brinda Karat [central committee member, CPI(M), and general secretary of the AIDWA], Harnam Singh (former member of legislative assembly-CPI), Jagmati Sangwan, (president, AIDWA Haryana), Balbir Dahiya and Ram Chandra [CPI(M)]. The delegation visited the site of the killings and met the superintendent of police, Mohammed Aqil, his deputy, Narendra Singh, the station house officer, Rajendra Singh, and other police personnel. The deputy commissioner, Mahendra Singh, was in Bahadurgarh and therefore unavailable to the delegation.

The delegation met the family members of two of those killed, Dayachand and Virendra, in the village of Badshahpur and also a large number of people in the village. The delegation also attended a meeting of the residents in the village chaupal.

The reported incident: on October 15, an animal skin trader, Kailash, came to Badshahpur village in Gurgaon district to collect a consignment of skins of buffaloes and cows from a licensed skinner, Devendra. As is the usual practice, some advance was given and the rest of the payment was to be made on delivery. Devendra’s brother, Virendra, and his cousin, Dayachand, (both skinners) hired a vehicle to take the skins to Karnal and accompanied the trader so as to be able to collect the rest of the payment. The driver of the vehicle was Tota Ram and the conductor was Raju and they left the village at around 11 am.

The first stop was in a place called Farroukhnagar where another consignment of skins was picked up. The Duleena chowki was en route their destination. It is here that the killings took place. According to the police, the trader bought a dead cow from Farroukhnagar. The vehicle was stopped coincidentally quite close to the chowki and the cow was skinned on the main road. A group of people from a neighbouring village, reacting to the sight, got off their vehicle and started beating up the Dalits, accusing them of cow slaughter and then dragged them, badly injured, to the police chowki. This was around 5 pm or 5.30 pm. At that time there were about five or six police personnel present.

Later news spread that a cow had been killed and mobs returning from a Dussehra celebration, some of them drunk, surrounded the chowki, set up road blocks to prevent the Dalits from being taken out by the police and then beat them to death. According to the police, the mob numbered 4,000-5,000. The killings took place before three sub-divisional magistrates, the deputy superintendent of police, the SHO and about 60 to 70 police personnel who had been sent there after urgent wireless messages from the chowki. Subsequently, an enquiry committee has been formed comprising entirely of police officials, including those present at the site of the killings. At the time of writing this report there have been no arrests.

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