New Delhi: The barking of a dog, belonging to a member of the Dalit community, at a group of inebriated Jat youths who were passing through the village was the trigger for the Mirchpur Dalit killings, according to the Delhi high court.
The incident was described in the court's 209-page verdict, in which it convicted 33 Jats for the crime.
It noted that the incident dates back to the evening of 19 April, 2010, when a group of Jat youths were returning through the Mirchpur village and a villager's dog barked at them to which the Jats took offence and started throwing stones at the pet.
When the villager and his nephew came out and objected, they were threatened by the Jats with dire consequences. An altercation broke out which was somehow defused by the villager after which the youths left, the judgement noted.
After this, the Jat community members asked the dog owner to apologise to avoid further problems. When he and his neighbour reached the house of one of the accused, they were severely beaten up.
One of them suffered serious injuries and was admitted to a hospital. He also lodged a complaint with the local police. The next day, that is 20 April, 2010, a large number of youths from the Jat community gathered in the village, leading to apprehensions of an attack among the Dalit community, the Court noted.
On the fateful morning of 21 April, 2010, one of the accused while passing near the village had allegedly threatened some of the Dalit youths of burning down their houses which led to another verbal altercation between the two parties. Following this, a false alarm was raised by the Jats that the accused had been beaten by the Dalits.
The judgement noted that after some time, a large number of Jats, armed with 'lathis', jellies, stones, oil cans and petrol came to the village and started pelting stones towards the Dalit residents. Initially there were 100 to 150 members of Jat community, but later this number went up to 300 to 400.
The Dalit community retaliated by throwing stones, brickbats, and whatever they could lay their hands on. However, they were outnumbered.
Meanwhile, one of the accused came to the village and had allegedly asked all the men of the Dalit community to assemble at a place. While the men were away, the Jats set fire to their houses.
On hearing the cries of female family members, the Dalit men ran towards their houses and saw the Jat mob burning the houses, including that of victim Tara Chand, the Court noted. His daughter succumbed to the burn injuries in the house and he was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died during treatment.
In the incident, 51 persons belonging to the Balmiki community received injuries and 18 of their properties were burnt. There was large-scale rioting and looting of the properties. The residents had to flee the village and take shelter at a farmhouse.
Updated Date: Aug 25, 2018 19:32 PM