The Delhi High Court has issued arrest warrants against those convicted of burning alive a Dalit man and his daughter in Haryana’s Hisar district in 2010. The court has directed the Haryana Police to arrest them by September 5, the Hindustan Times reported on Monday.
On August 24, the court dismissed the appeals of 15 convicts in the case and convicted 20 people who had earlier been acquitted. The court gave the convicts time till September 1 to surrender.
On Monday, police officials also met village elders to persuade the convicts to surrender, reported The Tribune. “Their arrest is inevitable in view of the High Court order,” said a police officer. “It will be better if they come forward, otherwise the police will adopt their own measures to ensure the arrests.”
Hansi Superintendent of Police Vijender Vij said the police will take appropriate action to comply with the High Court’s orders. Two police teams have been created to arrest the accused, reported The Times of India. The officer in charge of the police station in Narnaund is leading one of the teams. He is expected to submit a report to the court on September 5 and inform it about the arrests.
In April 2010, a mob of nearly 1,000 people from the Jat community burnt 18 homes in a Dalit colony in Mirchpur village reportedly following a dispute over a barking dog. Tara Chand and his teenage daughter, who suffered from polio and could not walk unaided, were burnt to death in the incident.
Advocate Rajat Kalsan, who represented the victims, said: “Not even a single one of them surrendered, hence the Delhi High Court has directed the police to arrest them all by September 5.
After the attack, Dalit youths left the village fearing more violence even though the police had promised them security, said villagers Jai Prakash and Som Nath. “We do not want to take a risk,” the two men added. “Members of our community have confined themselves to their homes till the convicts are arrested.”
Narnaund Station House Officer Sadhuram said the village was peaceful.
In September 2011, a Delhi court convicted 15 of the 84 accused in the case. Three of them were sentenced to life, five to five years in jail, and seven were released on probation.