NEW DELHI

Dalit protesters evicted after two months

Dalits staging a protest near the Parliament Street police station in New Delhi on Wednesday.— Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

Dalits staging a protest near the Parliament Street police station in New Delhi on Wednesday.— Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma  

Dalit protesters from Haryana’s Bhagana, who had been camping at Jantar Mantar here for nearly two months, woke up to a rude shock on Wednesday morning when they were told to vacate the venue and their tent was uprooted. Alleging that four girls from their community were abducted and raped by people from the powerful Jat community, the protesters were seeking action against the head of their village who they accused of being hand in glove with the perpetrators of the crime.

While the protesters claim that there was a mobilisation of nearly 400 police personnel as early as 6-30 a.m. and that they were beaten up, the Delhi Police denied any police presence. Additional Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) S.B.S. Tyagi said only the New Delhi Municipal Council staff reached the protest venue as the protesters had been staying there way beyond the sanctioned limit at Jantar Mantar.

Protesters on the other hand said after taking away the tent, the police instructed them to leave the venue around 12 noon.

“However, no one came to serve a reminder when the clock hit 12. Couple of hours later our representatives went to the Parliament Street police station to talk to the Station House Officer,” said a protester. He added that they courted arrest and left the police station only after submitting a memorandum addressed to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. They were supported by several women’s groups and student groups including those from Delhi University.

In the past two months, the villagers have made several representations but have got no reprieve. By evening they were back at Jantar Mantar resuming their protest.

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