High drama prevailed outside the residence of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda as a large number of Dalits placed bodies of two youths in the middle of the road and protested against the state government for nearly two hours. Two Dalit youth,Vikram (23) and his cousin Sudhir (11) were shot dead while their friend Sandeep (23) suffered injuries in an indiscriminate firing opened at them by a group of motorcycle borne youths. The victims families have named 18 persons,mostly Jats,whom the police have now booked on charges of murder and under the provisions of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
While Sudhir died on the spot,Vikram and Sandeep were rushed to Rohtaks Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS). Vikram sucummbed to injuries while Sandeep survived. While Sudhir was a student of Class Five,Vikram was studying in BA final year and is survived by his wife,an 18-month old son,a younger brother and his parents.
Enraged over the shootout,which took place last evening in Rohtaks Madina village,the Dalit community members blocked the National Highway-10 this morning leading to traffic disruption. The protesters lifted the blockade after about 45 minutes. A mob comprising Dalits reached Rohtak PGIMS mortuary and claimed the bodies of Vikram and Sudhir. Both the bodies were then towards Hoodas residence in Rohtak.
The protesters broke at least two police barricades before reaching outside CMs residence and kept both the bodies there demanding stern action against the accused. The district administration and senior police officials reached the spot and pacified the protesters seeking two days time to nab the absconding accused. So far the police has not been able to arrest any of the accused. However,the senior police officials claim that since the accused are already identified,they will be nabbed soon.
While talking to Express ,the deceaseds cousin Rohtash said,We all were working in the fields. I started for home,while Vikram,Sudhir,Sandeep and Sandeeps younger brother remained in the fields. While they were to start for home,a group of 15-20 persons led by one Mandip started firing at them. While the bullets hit Vikram,Sudhir and Sandeep,Sandeeps brother managed to escape unhurt. I got the news before I could reach home.
Alleging police inaction,Rohtash said,About five-six months ago also Vikram and his younger brother were assaulted by the same group at the villages well,which belong to our community. These Jats used to tease our girls and when we protested,they thrashed us. We approached the police,but no action was taken. Now they have murdered our boys.
Heavy police deployment has been made in and around Madina village to avert any further clash between Dalits and Jats.