Another Gohana : Dalit Bastis ransacked in Salwan village of Karnal
A Fact Finding Team of Human Rights Defenders and Social Activists from National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights was formed with a mandate to Investigate into the reports of Salwan village of Karnal district, carried in several news papers and electronic Media and to find out the extent of truth behind the reports. Fact Finding Team visited Salwan Village, Karnal on 2nd March 2007 and met Victims. The FF team found that 200 houses were burnt and destroyed.
The situation of the village is so tenses and threath for further attacks will be possible any time. Due this fear 75 % Dalits families has flew away. According to some unconfirmed sources, the FF team got information today that one Dalit youth was murdered in Salwan village in the continuation of attack last night,
About the incident
· Saalwan village is situated about 45 km away from its District Headquarters, Karnal, Haryana, where the mass attack against Dalit took place.
· Violent attack on Dalit homes in the Saalwan village took place on 1st March'07, pertaining to murder of Mahipal (40), a Rajput. According to the statement of the victims Pradeep and Leelu, belong to Dalit community murdered to Mahipal, a Rajput over grazing cattle in the fields on 26th Feb'07.
· The dead body was found from the field and police arrested two accused in this connection. In retaliation, with the leadership of a local leader Surjit Pradhan-Block Samiti Chairman, and Ganshyam-P.T Teacher of Government School Saalwan village a mob of about 5000 Dominant Caste persons, gheraoed the Dalit basti on 1 st March'07.
· The attackers ransacked Dalits household utensils and other belongings.
· Approximately 20-25 Dalits, including women and children were injured and one was admitted with serious injuries to the government hospital at Troma Center, in Karnal.
· During interaction with the affected people the team noticed that the attack against Dalit was completely pre-planned and well organized. Because….
· Police came to the spot after 3 hours of the incident took place in spite of victims contact to the police
· Phone lines were cut off
· Electricity was cut off
· The mob attacked on Dalits from both the sides
· The Police and the Municipal of Karnal District came to the spot and took all the burnt utensils and other belongings in order to hide gravity of the incident
· 75% the victims have fled from the village due to secure their lives
· Approximately 20-25 Dalits, including women and children were injured and one was admitted with serious injuries to the government hospital at Troma Center, in Karnal
· About 20-25 people injured while one of the victims is seriously injured and admitted in the while are
The Saalwan village, 45 km from Karnal District of Haryana, consists of 900 hamlets with a total population of --------. Of these are exclusively Dalit hamlets.
On March 1, Dalits lodged a police complaint fearing reprisal of Dominant Caste people.
We, the Human rights Defendenders Demands
· To declare Haryana as the Dalit atrocity prone state
· Ensure appropriate relief package reaches the all the affected Dalit families.
· Ensure complete rehabilitation package to compensate the loss not only to build their houses but also to provide financial assistance and other facilities to restart their livelihood.
· Immediate arrest of the culprits who indulged in ransacking, looting and burning of Dalit houses.
· CBI Enquiry to know the true story behind the attacks on the Dalit Basti. The terms of reference for the CBI enquiry should also include the role of the Police and the Administration.
· The Government should create confidence in the Dalit communities as well as the wider society by:
o Creating a safe environment for Dalits
o Deployment of armed police in the Basti
o Making immediate arrangements for return of Dalit families who had fled from their houses.
o Accurate enumeration of damage and loss of property of the affected Dalit families.
· Direction be given to the SP, to provide adequate protection to the Victims and their family members to protect them from further harassment and intimidation.
· The role of local politicians in Mass attack must be investigated and the concerned authorities must not be allowed to go ahead with any further plans so as to maintain peace and harmony in the village. We are surprised that no action has yet been taken against Police officials who are the primary cause for the attack on the Dalit people. They must be actually arrested under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act and put in jail. Instead of that they have been allowed to register cases against Dalits. The cases against dalit must be immediately withdrawn by the government and they must be allowed to return to their villages to live without fear.
· The Dalit people who are already poor have suffered further damages to their properties. This brings on them additional burden of restoring their homes apart from restoring their dignity as human beings. Immediate and enhanced compensation must be paid to all victims of this vandalism. Immediate relief / Compensation to the victims of Atrocity under Rule 12(4) R/w Annexure of the SC/ST (POA) RULE 1995 be paid to the victims immediately.
· Immediate action by the Government under Section 4 of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, against the Deputy Commissioner, the Senior Superintendent of Police and the Deputy Superintendent of Police and other others for their willful negligence in providing protection to Dalits and their property .