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One month on, no relief for Haryana’s dalits
Published on 7 Jun. 2010 12:06 AM IST
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It has been more than a month since a dalit father and his handicapped daughter were burnt alive by members of a dominant caste in Hisar’s Mirchpur village. Still, there is no sign of any government action to provide relief to those affected by caste violence.
Since April 21 caste violence, dalits have been camping in Delhi demanding justice from the government.
“I don’t want to live like this, I wanted to die with my daughter,” says Kamla Devi, a dalit, whose husband and handicapped daughter were burnt alive by upper caste jats only because a dog belonging to one of the dalit families had barked at boys belonging to the jat community.
Kamla Devi alleges that the police did not come to her daughter’s rescue despite repeated pleas.
“I was yelling for my daughter. I even went to the police, folded my hands and pleaded with them to save my daughter, but they said it takes one hour to process any complaint and hence can’t do anything till then,” adds Kamla Devi.
And while many wish to go back to the village which had been their home for decades, others like 28-year-old Jaswant are sceptical.
A school teacher by profession, Jaswant fears that due to lack of schooling, future of dalit children lies in jeopardy.
“Schooling has stopped completely. Children have no place to continue their education. They were hoping to get a good education and progress, but their dreams are ruined,” says Jaswant.
Earlier, the Supreme Court has asked Haryana government to provide protection to the dalits and even threatened that its failure to do so would be viewed seriously by the court. However, scepticism still remains.
For decades, dalits of Mirchpur have been fighting for a basic existence and a respectable place in society. They are now fighting to live in a place where they don’t have to constantly worry about death or their women getting raped.
And after the Mirchpur incident, it has turned into a do or die battle for justice for many of them.

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