Mirchpur violence: Delhi, Haryana told to protect witnesses

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Delhi High Court Tuesday told the Delhi and Haryana governments to provide security to witnesses to the attack on Dalits at Mirchpur village in Haryana in 2010, which led to the death of two people.

Justice Hima Kohli, hearing a petition of the Delhi government for permission to provide security to the witnesses in the capital, said: Both the governments should sit together and chart out a plan on security of the witnesses, who have to appear before a Delhi court to record statements.

The high court also asked both the Delhi and Haryana governments to inform it Feb 19 about the progress in the case.

The court said that if both governments fail to arrive at a decision on the witnesses’ security by Feb 19, the home secretaries of the two states would have to appear before it for explanation.

The court imposed a restraint on the appearance of Delhi principal secretary/secretary (home) before the city court Feb 17 in the Mirchpur riots case.

City court Special Judge (Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes Act) Kamini Lau earlier had asked the Delhi principal secretary/secretary (home) to appear before it Feb 17 in the case.

The Supreme Court had earlier directed that the case relating to the killing of a 70-year-old Dalit man and his physically-challenged daughter in Mirchpur village allegedly by a mob of over 100 people from the Jat community be transferred to the special court here to ensure a free and fair trial.

Jat agitators have been protesting the arrest of 98 people from their community allegedly involved in the Mirchpur village riots and arson in Hisar district April 21, 2010. The blockade was ordered by the mahapanchayat (community conclave) of 12 khaps (caste councils).

A 70-year-old man and his 18-year-old physically-challenged daughter were killed in the arson attack on a Dalit locality in Mirchpur village, about 300 km from Chandigarh.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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