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Saturday, 21 February 2015

Social boycott of Dalits can't be ended by judicial order: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Friday said that it cannot pass an order to end alleged social boycott of the Dalit community in violence-hit Mirchpur village in Haryana as it would be an "ineffective" one.
"What is the solution to end the social boycott? The courts cannot say that end the social boycott of Dalits. It would be an ineffective order," the social justice bench of justices M B Lokur and U U Lalit said.

The court was hearing a PIL seeking rehabilitation and relocation of Dalit community members from Mirchpur in Rohtak district.

An old Dalit man and his physically-challenged daughter of the village were killed by members of dominant Jat community in 2010, sparking fear among the Dalits.
The bench today asked the counsel for Haryana to apprise it as to whether a judicial panel headed by Justice Iqbal Singh has filed its report on the incident.
Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for Dalit community members, said that they are living under constant threat as the dominant community members feel that because of them some persons have been convicted in the case.

Moreover, the appeals against the conviction of some members of the dominant community are pending in the Delhi High Court and Dalits feel threatened, he said.

"We are also suffering the social boycott," he said, adding that the entire state is not hostile to the community and hence, they be given land at some other place to live.
The counsel, appearing for Haryana, however, said that one company of CRPF personnel is camping in the village since 2010 and there has been such incidents thereafter against Dalit community members there.

Meanwhile, Gonsalves said that he will not press for the relief that the members of Dalit community be rehabilitated in Delhi and added rather, they be given land at some other place in Haryana itself.

Earlier, the apex court had dubbed the incident as "scar on the society" and had expressed its anguish after the then Congress-led state government said the 70-year-old man and his handicap daughter were "trapped" in the house after it was set on fire and the trial court has not held their death as murder.

Earlier, the 15 convicts, belonging to Jat community, were held guilty for setting ablaze victim Tara Chand's house, which caused the death on April 21, 2010 at Mirchpur. The incident took place after a dispute between Jat and Dalit communities of the village.

They were convicted in the case by a Delhi trial court on September 24, 2011.

Three persons were sentenced to life imprisonment by a Delhi court on October 31, 2011 for their involvement in the killings.
Five others were sentenced to varying jail terms up to five years and seven convicts were let off on probation for one year.
The court had earlier acquitted 82 out of 97 accused in the case saying the allegations levelled against them were not proved beyond reasonable doubt.
The accused resorted to rioting and attacked the houses of members of Dalit community on April 21 as a pet dog of a Dalit had barked at a group of Jats two days ago when they were passing through the colony, according to the charge sheet.

They got enraged when a Dalit boy objected to hurling of stones by Jat youths at the dog, it had said, adding later it led to the killings.

Source: DNA India, 20th Feb 2015 

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