Jind: Residents of Mirchpur and adjoining villages continued their indefinite sit-in on railway tracks here for the sixth day Thursday, remaining adamant on their demand for a fresh probe into the killing of two Dalits in April last year after which 98 members of their community were
Members of the pre-dominant Jat community have been sitting on the tracks at Julani village near Jind railway station since January 15, due to which railway traffic on the Jind-Jakhal section of the Delhi-Ferozepur route has been disrupted.
Despite the cold weather, about 5,000 people, including women, remain squatted on the railway tracks throughout the day while in the night around 200 people carry on the dharna.
The protesters have pitched three tents, one on the track itself, which also store their blankets, quilts and ration.
Their food is cooked near the protest site with residents of nearby villages including Julani and Sangatpura ensuring supplies of vegetables, cereals, wheat flour and fuel. Tea is
available throughout the day.
Police personnel have been deployed in strength to ensure maintenance of peace.
After the upper-caste villagers began their indefinite dharna, the call for which was issued by a Jat Mahapanchayat of 42 khaps or caste councils, long-route passenger and goods trains have been diverted via other routes including Jakhal while some local passenger trains have been cancelled.
The villagers are protesting the booking of 98 members of their upper-caste community in the case relating to the killing of 70-year-old Dalit Tara Chand and his 17-year-old daughter Suman in April last year.
They are also opposed to the shifting of the trial of the case to a court in New Delhi and lodging of the accused in a prison in the national capital and are demanding that the probe be held either at Rohtak or Hisar and the accused be lodged in either of the two jails.
A Delhi court had on January 9 directed the Haryana Government to move all the 98 accused from Hisar jail to New Delhi`s Tihar prison following the transfer of their trial to a special court in Delhi by an order of the Supreme Court on December 9 last year, after the aggrieved party had approached the apex court claiming that a fair trial was not possible within the state.
Tara Chand and his daughter were killed when their house was set afire on April 21 last year in Mirchpur district after which 98 members of the Jat community were booked in connection with the case.