AROUND 70 CRPF personnel were withdrawn from Mirchpur village in Hisar district, Haryana, on Friday after nearly six years of the 2010 violence in which upper caste villagers had torched over a dozen Dalit houses. As many as 160 Dalit families were living in Mirchpur village on April 21, 2010, when members of the Jat community attacked them, set their houses ablaze resulting in the death of two persons, Tara Chand, 70, and his teenaged polio-stricken daughter Suman, and injuring over 50 Dalits. A CRPF company was deployed at the village in February 2011.
Hisar SP Rajender Kumar Meena said the decision to withdraw CRPF personnel was taken after his visit to the village on Friday. “I talked to villagers of both sides and they agreed that there was no law and order problem. Hence, a CRPF company has been withdrawn. But, as a caution, we have doubled the strength of our Mirchpur police post.” Meena added that the villagers brought to his notice the water drainage problem and he has taken it up with the administration.
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Veer Bhan Balmiki, a member of the committee formed to ensure peace in the village, said, “As of now, there is no law and order issue and villagers of both communities are living peacefully. Therefore, we told the SP that there was no requirement for CRPF security.” Questioned why around 80 Dalit families staying outside the village have refused to return, he replied, “Most of them are staying at Tanwar Farmhouse, which is near Hisar city and they do not have to pay for electricity and water. They easily get labour jobs in the city which they do not get in the village. Therefore, they demand rehabilitation near the city.”
However, advocate Rajat Kalsan, who is fighting for rehabilitation of the Dalit families that have migrated, says, “Families do not want to go back because they are still scared of the upper caste villagers. Anything can happen any time. Ask the police why there is very low conviction rate in this case? Because even Dalit villagers have turned hostile out of fear.” He added that even the village panchayat does not give Dalits jobs under MGNREGA.
In a case pending before the Punjab and Haryana High Court by displaced Dalits seeking rehabilitation, the state government had claimed that 89 Dalit families have been living in harmony and the state has given Rs 1.97 crore compensation to the victims. Hisar district records revealed that 35 victim families have taken shelter in the farmhouse owned by Non-Jat Sangathan Ved Pal Tanwar on Kamery Road in Hisar, 14 are staying in Narnaund, seven in Hisar, four in Adampur, 21 at other places and 33 families, who had earlier left, have returned. Official records revealed that 54 people from the Dalit victim families in Mirchpur possess arms licence.