//Scared Dalits flee Sonepat village

Scared Dalits flee Sonepat village

[ Friday, February 24, 2006 02:10:55 amTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

ROHTAK: More than 200 members of 31 Dalit families belonging to Farmana village in Sonepat district were rendered refugees in there own native land following alleged attack by upper castes on their locality of the same village.

Dalit elders alleged they had to flee their village in Kharkhauda sub-division on Wednesday night to save their lives because the miscreants were armed. They spent the night camping at various temples, dharamshalas and schools in and around Khokhrakot locality of Rohtak.

Chanderbhan, one of those who fled, alleged that a group of upper caste people from the village were eying the land on which they had been living for decades in pucca houses. He said upper caste people, led by Farmana sarpanch Sunil, threatened residents of the Dalit ‘basti’ on February 14 asking them to vacate the land which the miscreants claimed belonged to a temple.

.A few days later, the same people again visited the locality with a JCB machine and started constructing a wall, thereby closing a street leading to the locality. On both occasions, the matter was reported to the district administration and the police, but no preventive action was taken.

They said a delegation of the affected families met the inspector general of police here on Wednesday and gave him a detailed account of what had transpired in the village. In their complaint, the Dalit villagers alleged that those involved in the incident not only threatened them with weapons but also hurled casteist abuses.

Sources said IG Sharad Kumar on receipt of the complaint marked an inquiry to SP Sonepat.Various Dalit organisations, including the Haryana Ravidas Samaj Mahasabha, on Thursday came out in support of the affected Dalit families.

Mahasabha president Ram Mehar told TOI that he would write to Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda seeking his immediate intervention for rehabilitation of the displaced families. A delegation of the Mahasabha also met HPCC working president Ram Parkash.

Sonepat deputy commissioner Neerja Rajshekhar, however, refuted the claim that Dalit families had migrated from the village. She told TOI on phone that no FIR had been registered in the case.

She said the dispute was over construction of a boundary wall around a temple in Mozamnagar village. The wall was taken right up to a village pond near the temple, thus blocking the way to the Dalit colony.

An attempt by the villagers more than a week ago to extend the boundary wall of the temple to the village pond was thwarted by the administration. But the villagers had gone ahead and extended the wall now. The administration would intervene in the matter and settle the issue, she said