Mirchpur killings: Court’s verdict on Sunday

A local court is likely to deliver on Sunday its verdict on the quantum of sentence against 15 people.

New Delhi: A local court is likely to deliver on Sunday its verdict on the quantum of sentence against 15 people, convicted for burning alive a 70-year-old Dalit man and his physically-challenged daughter at Mirchpur village in Haryana`s Hissar district last year.

"Case be listed for orders on sentence on October 31," Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau had said after hearing the arguments on sentence from the prosecution as well as the defence counsel.

The judge had also asked for a report of the probation officer of Hissar regarding seven of the 15 convicts, who were first-time offenders, after the defence counsel had said they
would be entitled for the benefit of the Probation of Offenders Act as they were not booked under provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

The court had earlier acquitted 82 out of 97 accused in the case saying the allegations levelled against them were not proved beyond reasonable doubt.

The 15 convicts, belonging to Jat community, were held guilty for setting ablaze victim Tara Chand`s house, which caused the deaths on April 21. The incident took place after a dispute between Jat and Dalit community of the village.

The court had convicted Kulwinder, Ramphal and Rajender on charges of committing unintentional killing under Section 304 of the IPC. The trio might get life-term, which is the maximum sentence for the offence.

Besides these three, 12 others were convicted on milder charges of arson, rioting and making unlawful assembly. Six of them -- Monu, Baljeet, Karamveer, Karampal,
Dharambir and Bobal -- were convicted for setting ablaze the houses of Dalits.

Another six persons were held guilty for rioting, unlawful assembly and causing damages to properties by stone-pelting.

The court had convicted the 15 accused after examining 68 prosecution witnesses, 44 defence witnesses and one court witness.

The accused were tried under various IPC sections dealing with murder, rioting, making unlawful assembly, promoting enmity between different communities, physical assault, creating mischief and damaging public property.

The accused resorted to rioting and attacked the houses of people of Dalit community on April 21 as a pet dog of a Dalit had barked at a group of Jats two days ago when they were passing through the colony, according to the charge sheet.

They got enraged when a Dalit boy objected to hurling of stones by Jat youths at the dog, it said, adding that later it led to the killings of Tara Chand and his physically-challenged teenage daughter.


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