Mirchpur still under shadow of Jat violence
Joel Joseph,TNN,Mar 15, 2011, 06.23am IST
MIRCHPUR: Beneath the calm lies an air of uneasy restlessness. It has
been nearly 11 months since caste violence rocked Mirchpur but the
atmosphere is far from being calm. One can feel it the moment one
enters this small village, located roughly 60 kilometres from Hisar.
At every corner there are pickets with CRPF jawans manning them. While
on one hand, the Jats insist that everything is peaceful and blame the
media and NGOs for portraying the Dabangg versus Dalit picture, the
Valmikis, on the other, say they are constantly living under fear.
According to them, the terror is escalating with each passing day and
two months ago, around 130 villagers had fled the village after Jats
publicly announced that they would not spare anybody in case the 103
youths who are currently lodged in Tihar jail and accused in last
years violence are punished by the Supreme Court (SC).
Recently, the SC pointed out that Jat khap panchayats may now have to
pay up Rs 33.95 crore to compensate the loss and damage they caused by
blocking rail and road traffic in Haryanas Jind district for 11 days
in January to protest the arrest of their youth in the Mirchpur caste
violence that rocked the district on April 21 last year.
On January 19, the Jats went around our village and said they will go
to any extent to settle scores if the SC verdict is unfavourable. The
same night, 130 villagers fled and took shelter in Hisar where they
have been living since then. However, five days ago, Raj Kumar Obra, a
Jat leader, in a public meeting instigated the crowd to kill the man
who is providing shelter to these villagers. We are all living under
fear and dont know what will happen next, said 29-year-old Dalsher
Singh, whose house was completely burnt down in the violence.
While the government has extended a helping hand and has rebuilt their
houses, the dalits want a livelihood and wish to see their children go
back to school. Ever since the violence broke out, we have been
jobless. The Jats used to give us work but since they dont trust us
anymore they refuse to employ us. We find if difficult to make both
ends meet. Our children are being denied admission in schools because
the Jats are threatening the authorities and say they will burn the
schools if they give admission to our children, said 26-year-old
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