The caste Hindus were enraged by a Dalit boy marrying a Ror girl
Despite having prior information, police failed to prevent an attack on Dalits of Pabnawa village in Haryana’s Kaithal district by members of the Ror community (caste Hindus) on April 13, says a report by the Caste Annihilation Movement (CAM).
Some 200 Dalit families fled the village after their homes were attacked by Rors enraged by a Dalit boy from the village secretly marrying a Ror girl, according to a team of the Movement that visited the village.
The report says that the decision to ‘teach a lesson’ to the Dalits was taken at a meeting attended by around 500 Rors.
A Dalit boy, Darshanpal, told the team that he informed the police station and the Deputy Superintendent of Police of the impending attack at 2.30 p.m. the same day and again reminded them at 6 p.m. and at 8.30 p.m.
Fifteen policemen were sent to the area but kept away from the village and it was in their presence that the attack took place, according to the report.
The houses of Dalits were looted and destroyed and three persons were seriously injured in the attack.
After this incident, the police arrested 22 persons under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, though 52 have been named in the preliminary report. Thirty persons are still at large.
The incident was triggered by the marriage of Meena, a Ror girl, with Suryakant from the Dalit community on April 8.
The two sought protection from the Punjab and Haryana High Court as the girl’s parents had lodged a kidnap complaint against Suryakant.
CAM coordinator J.P. Narela, general secretary of the New Democratic Party of India Arun Manjhi and trade union leader K.K. Niyogi were the members of the team.
The report says the Dalits and the boy are under pressure to break the marriage and hand over the girl to her family. But the Dalits have refused to do so.
Haryana Education Minister Gita Bhukkal has been publicly saying that marriages within the same village are not good for society and they should be annulled.
After the incident, 15-20 unarmed police personnel were deployed at the village entrance.
Dalit families told the team that in Haryana the dominant communities have no fear of the law for they occupy key positions in the government.
Quoting Darshan Singh, a Dalit from the village, the report states that the attack will affect the livelihood of 150 Dalit families because now they cannot work in the farms of the Rors.
The CAM has demanded that all those implicated in the Pabnawa attack be arrested immediately and the police personnel who did not prevent it be dismissed. It has also demanded that all attempts to dissolve such marriages be stopped.