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Dalits vent caste ire in Haryana

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  • Published 14.06.11

Chandigarh, June 13: Hundreds of Dalits embittered by a caste clash with Jats last year today vented their anger by throwing stones at police in a restricted zone, leading to a baton-charge and several arrests.

The Dalits assembled this morning outside the Hisar district collector’s office to protest against cases of atrocities by Jats. They were angry because six upper-caste Jats, among the key accused in a case of caste violence last year, had been given bail in May.

On April 21 last year, a Jat group burnt down several Dalit homes in the village of Mirchpur. A 17-year-old disabled Dalit girl and her father were burnt alive in the rampage. The immediate reason for the Jats’ anger seemed to be an argument their youths had over the barking of a dog that belonged to a Dalit family.

The Dalits fled Mirchpur, a village that has one of the highest numbers of teachers in Haryana — most of them Jats.

Over 90 Jats were arrested after the April 21 incident. Several of them got bail, but the release of the six key accused last month seemed to have angered the Dalits the most.

Today, the Dalits asked for the burnt homes in Mirchpur to be rebuilt and the six who had got bail to be rearrested.