THE Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch (DSMM), in a statement issued on August 25, has welcomed the judgment of the Delhi High Court in the Mirchpur (Haryana) atrocity case. The judgment provides much delayed justice to those who have suffered killings, arson, social boycott and exile. The incident occurred in which a dalit community was attacked because a dog belonging to one of its members barked at a member of the Jat community when he was passing through the Balmiki basti at night. In the attack that followed, a physically challenged girl and her father died when their hut was deliberately set on fire.
The High Court was hearing the case after the trial court had acquitted 20 of the accused. The aggrieved dalits approached the SC demanding that the appeal be heard outside the state. In its judgment, it held that the attack was ‘co-ordinated and pre-mediated’ and, with this conviction of 20, the total number of convictions in the case is now 33 of whom 12 have been awarded life imprisonment.
Significantly, the HC also noted that the colony built for the 254 families whose homes were destroyed and who were forced to leave their village has been constructed outside Mirchpur. This is further evidence of the strength of caste division and prejudice in our society.
The DSMM, while welcoming the judgment, strongly condemns the attitude of the Haryana government (past and present) which has made no effort to punish those accused of caste atrocities against dalits.