Caste violence in Haryana: Mirchpur probe panel blames police for failing to prevent horrific deaths

Chandigarh: The Justice Iqbal Singh Commission of Inquiry which probed the Mirchpur violence in Haryana’s Hisar district has blamed the cops for acting as “mute spectator” and “failing” to act on time to prevent the horrific incident. The one-man Justice Iqbal Singh Commission pointed out that police acted as “mute spectator” and “failed” to control the situation.

On April 21, 2010, 70-year-old Tara Chand and his physically challenged daughter Suman (16) got burnt alive in their house while several other people were injured when a mob went on rampage torching several houses. Fifty two persons were injured in the incident, in which 18 houses were also damaged by the mob. The Commission in its report noted that the “duty magistrate and the police failed to prevent the (Mirchpur violence) incident..”

The report, submitted to the State government nearly a year back, but tabled in the ongoing session of the Haryana Assembly here on Friday, has noted that tension had build up between Dalits and the members of the pre-dominant Jat community after the altercation between them, but the police “failed” to understand the gravity of the situation in the village and take appropriate action.

A spat between some youths of village Mirchpur belonging to the Jat community with a Dalit family over a trivial matter erupted into a major row later. The inquiry report was based on spot visits and the statements of many people, including the victims, witnesses and the local villagers.

The incident was reported in media and was also raised in Parliament. Committee on the welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes visited the village after the incident. “Police did not act properly rather acted very casually and allowed the situation to go out of control,” the report tabled in the Assembly, said.”The police personnel who were requisitioned some of whom were armed with self loading rifles ran away from the spot which further gave an opportunity to the mob to burn the houses. Had the police officials of the police station Narnaud (Hisar district) deployed adequate force and took preventive action this unfortunate incident could have been prevented. “It failed to understand the gravity of the situation and took it lightly in the initial stage and further failed to take appropriate action which resulted into incident on April 21, 2010,” the report said.