Even though a fortnight has passed since over 200 Dalit families were forced to leave their homes after they were allegedly attacked by members of upper caste Rors,the situation is still tense at Pabnawa village in Haryanas Kaithal district.
The incident occurred after a Dalit eloped with a Ror girl. While the couple is currently staying at a safe house at Kaithal under police protection,a large number of policemen are still deployed on round-the-clock duty to avert any further communal clash in the village.
Following the attack,National Commission for Scheduled Castes members and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala have visited the village. But the Dalit families are yet to return.
They are demanding that all the 52 people named in the FIR should first be arrested and only then would they have a dialogue with Rors. The district police,so far,has arrested over 25 people,who were found involved in the attack on the night of April 13.
When Rors attacked us in middle of the night,we had no option but to leave our homes. All those who chose to stay back and face the wrath of Rors,sent their children,women,girls and cattle out to their relatives so that they can be saved. It has been over two weeks that we are living at our relatives place, said Karan Singh,a Dalit who fled the village leaving his house unlocked after the attack.
Though policemen are deployed in the village for 24 hours,but still there is a sense of fear in our hearts. Our movement is restricted and we are terrified to step into the area,which is dominated by Rors. Even today,if we come in front of them,they threaten us and ask us to leave the village, said Joginder Singh,another Dalit,whose wife and children have gone to his relative in a Kurukshetra village.
The government authorities,however,hope that the situation will soon ease out. It is correct that people are yet return even after over two weeks. But we are keeping a constant watch on the situation. There are some people who enter the village and instigate both sides for their vested interests. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala also visited the village and spoke to members of both the communities. He has assured both sides of an amicable solution and asked them not to resort to violence. I hope the situation will be back to normal in a day or so, said Kaithal Deputy Commissioner Chandershekhar.
He added: There are many people who have been named in the FIR,but were not present at the village at the time of incident. We have also verified their locations. Just because complainants have named them,innocent people cannot be jailed.