New Delhi, June 2 (Calcutta Tube) A protest by Dalit (Balmiki) families who fled from Mirchpur village in Haryana’s Hisar district turned ugly as the district’s Deputy Commissioner Yudhvir Singh was attacked and manhandled by angry protesters here Wednesday.
‘The deputy commissioner of Hisar district came to meet the protesters to convey the instructions given to him by the Supreme Court. He was attacked by the angry families as they did not want to move back,’ an eyewitness said at Mandir Marg where the Mirchpur families have taken refuge for the past two weeks.
The Supreme Court Wednesday said it was incumbent upon the Haryana government to provide protection to the victims of caste violence in Mirchpur village.
But the community members, who fled their village out of fear of more persecution, do not want to return.
According to eyewitness accounts, Singh was greeted with slogans against him and the Haryana government.
He had barely finished speaking when a protestor, Kamla Devi, rose. ‘My family was burnt alive. I want justice first. Can you or your government give it?’ she asked.
The deputy commissioner responded to her and moved back to his car.
His car was attacked and stopped by angry protesters. He tried to escape with his entourage of administrators and security men on foot.
‘The protesters chased him and manhandled him. A riot-like situation emerged. They did not allow him to board a car on the road either,’ an eyewitness said.
He even tried to escape on a two-wheeler on the opposite side of the road but the protesters showed no mercy and toppled the vehicle.
Over 15 police personnel from Mandir Marg police station came to Singh’s rescue and the situation was finally brought under control.
‘The deputy commissioner should have first come to the police station and taken adequate security along. This incident happened due to his casual approach,’ a police official said.
On April 21, as many as 150 Dalit families were driven out of Mirchpur village after an arson attack on their homes in Hisar district, about 300 km from Chandigarh. They camped at the Valmiki Mandir in Harijan Basti on Mandir Marg in Delhi.
A 70-year-old man and his 18-year-old physically challenged daughter were killed and at least 18 houses were damaged in the attack blamed on upper caste Jats.