Mirchpur violence: Apex court tells Haryana to rein in protesters


New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday pulled up the Haryana government for failing to clear an 11-day-long blockade of the national highway by the Jat community protesting the arrests of its members allegedly involved in the Mirchpur village attack on Dalits.

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The apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice A.K. Ganguly told the government that “the blockade of the national highway cannot be tolerated”.

The court said that the common man had the right to travel and the highway could not be obstructed by anyone in the course of an agitation.

The judges said that it could not be a mute witness to a situation where the rule of law was subverted by muscle power.

The Jat agitators have been protesting against the arrest of their 98 people allegedly involved in attack on the Dalits of Mirchpur village of Hisar district April 21, 2010. The blockade was ordered by the mahapanchayat of 12 khaps (caste councils).

A 70-year-old man and his 18-year-old physically-challenged daughter were killed in the arson attack on a Dalit locality in Mirchpur village, about 300 km from Chandigarh.

The court said it could not be a mute spectator to the way people were being put to trouble by the agitators. The court condemned the strong arm tactics being used by the members of the dominant caste to frustrate action against them.

The court said that the right to life of another community could not be put violated by members of the dominant community.

The judges also took note of the recent agitation by the Gujjar community of Rajasthan which disrupted rail and road traffic for days together, thereby causing hardship to people.

The trial in Mirchpur anti-Dalit violence case was shifted to a court in Delhi’s Rohini district court complex after the apex court was told that the witnesses were being threatened and the atmosphere outside the trial court in Hisar was not conducive for a free and fair trial.

The matter was adjourned for two weeks.