One man panel to probe Haryana’s Mirchpur caste killings

Saturday, June 19, 2010

CHANDIGARH - The Haryana government has set up a one man commission to probe the killings of an elderly man and his physically challenged daughter in an arson attack on the houses of Dalits at Mirchpur village in April.

Retired judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Iqbal Singh, has been appointed and asked to submit the probe report within the next three months, said a notification issued here late Friday.

On April 21, the Dalits of Mirchpur village in Hisar district were attacked by the dominant upper caste (Jat) members. As many as 150 Dalit families were driven out of their village after an arson attack on their homes, about 300 km from here.

A 70-year-old man and his 18-year-old physically challenged daughter were burnt alive as they could not come out of their house which was set on fire. At least 18 houses were damaged.

“The commission will enquire into the circumstances leading to the death of the father and the girl and injuring of several other persons in the arson attack. It will probe into who were responsible for the loss of life, property and violence,” a government spokesperson said.

“It will assess the actual damage caused to the houses of Balmiki (Dalit) community as well as to the household items. The commission has been asked to consider the steps taken by the state government, including the compensation to the affected families, and to recommend other remedial measures,” the spokesperson said.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had directed the Haryana government to provide protection to the victims of caste violence in Mirchpur village.

The court told the state government to re-build the houses that were damaged and set on fire during violence within the next 60 days.

In an ad-hoc arrangement, the court also directed the government to give employment to a member from each of the victims’ families under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme or any other similar scheme of the state government.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

will not be displayed