Mirchpur case: Jat conclave for fresh CBI probe

Tension prevailed here Saturday as tens of hundreds of members of the Jat Mahapanchayat, a congregation of leaders from over 42 khap (clan) panchayats, threatened to block roads and railway.

Jind (Haryana): Tension prevailed here Saturday as tens of hundreds of members of the Jat Mahapanchayat, a congregation of leaders from over 42 khap (clan) panchayats, threatened to block roads and railway crossings demanding a fresh CBI probe into the Mirchpur violence.

According to police, the protestors squatting near Jind railway station at Delhi-Ferozepur rail section since Saturday morning blocked rail traffic on one line and some train services had to be diverted.

The district administration has moved in 45 companies of the reserve police to maintain law and order. Heavy police presence was also deployed at all sensitive locations.

The protesters are also demanding that the trial in the case be shifted from New Delhi to Hisar and the arrested Jat youths be released.

The trial was shifted to New Delhi last month on the directions of the Supreme Court. A total of 98 Jat youths were arrested in the case.

"We will continue our protest in a peaceful manner. We would not move from here till our demands are met. We do not intend to disturb the law and order situation but if the administration does not accept our demands then we will intensify our campaign," said Rajbir Dhanda, a khap leader here Saturday.

"They are blocking the rail traffic on one line and officials have diverted some trains to alternate routes. So far, the protestors are peaceful and did not pose any threat to the peace of Jind," Ram Singh Bishnoi, Jind`s police superintendent, said to a news agency.

"Yes, we have got inputs that some people are planning to block rail and road traffic. We have made sufficient security arrangements to keep the situation under control," said Bishnoi.

The Jat Mahapanchayat - the mega conclave of community leaders - had issued an ultimatum to the state government to accept their demands before Jan 15.

Mirchpur village, in Hisar district, hit the headlines last year when it was rocked by an arson attack by the dominant upper caste Jat members on a row of houses of the Dalit (Balmiki) families.

As many as 150 lower caste Dalit families were driven out of the village and their homes were torched, about 300 km from Chandigarh, April 21 last year.

A 70-year-old man and his 18-year-old physically challenged daughter were killed in the fire in their home and at least 18 houses were destroyed in the attack.

IANS

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