Mirchpur Murders Nation: High Court Acquits 97 Upper Caste Goons
Eighty-two of the 97 people accused in the Mirchpur killing of a 70-year-old dalit and his physically challenged daughter were acquitted by a Delhi court for lack of evidence. The then SHO of the area, Vinod Kajal, was also acquitted by the court.
All the arrested are from the Jat community, who allegedly killed Tara Chand and his 17-year-old handicapped daughter after they burnt down Chand’s hut. The provocation was a quarrel between dalit leaders and Jat leaders over a dog barking nearby in April 2010, according to the prosecution. All the accused were booked for murder, arson, rioting and also under the SC/ST act. The court will now give quantum of punishment on September 29.
Contradictions in testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, discrepancies in the photographic and videographic evidence, and witnesses turning hostile led to the acquittals in the caste-atrocity case by additional sessions judge Kamini Lau, who, however convicted 15 people for various criminal acts in the incident that occurred at Mirchpur village in Haryana last year. None has been convicted for murder. Three were held guilty for culpable homicide not amounting to murder for torching houses of victims.
The court, in its judgment, pulled up the Haryana police for their role in the case saying the manner in which the whole thing was handled was improper . It said that due to the discrepancies in circumstantial, medical and forensic evidence even the dying testimony of Tara Chand before a magistrate had to be rejected. It said while allegations of use of deadly weapons, dacoity, criminal conspiracy couldn’t be proved by the prosecution, it found evidence of unlawful assembly, and culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
In December, the Supreme Court directed that the case be transferred to the special court in Delhi to ensure a free and fair trial. It also said the Delhi court will be free to re-examine witnesses already examined by the court in Hisar. It passed the order after examining the affidavits filed by two court-appointed advocates, who had submitted that the witnesses were under constant threat due to the hostile atmosphere created by the accused.
Filed under: dalit atrocity | 1 Comment