Haryana Dalits Face Boycott Over Using Village Hand-Pump; Approach SC

Members of a Dalit community from Bhatla village in Hisar, Haryana have approached the Supreme Court to seek relief from a series of atrocities that they have been facing at the hands of a caste-dominant community, including the blocking of access to drinking water from a village hand-pump.



A bench headed by Justice N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy, and BR Gavai referred the matter as very serious in nature, and directed the police to take action on the issues raised in the petition in connection with the social boycott.

The court told the Haryana government’s counsel that it sought his presence so that he can receive proper instruction from the departments involved in the matter. The court also asked the counsel to rope in a senior police officer, have them file a status report on the matter and appear before the Bench on November 8.

The matter was brought on record on July 2, 2017.Reporting on the case made by the petitioner, Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) stated that the dispute arose when a group of dalit boys were beaten up by the members of dominant community for drawing water from a hand-pump. Six persons were hospitalised in the assault, and later FIR was registered.

The petitioners claim the social boycott was imposed on the Dalit community after they refused to withdraw the case.The petitioner stated that 500 houses in the village have faced the consequences of the boycott. Though, the issue was raised before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, but it did not improve the situation.

The plea contended, “As a result of the social boycott imposed by respondent number three (organisation), the Dalit community have been blocked from free entry into residential areas and fields which they have exercised for decades. They have been blocked from accessing ration shops, dairy shops, hair cutting saloons and the water supply has been sporadically stopped forcing the Dalits to approach the administration.”

IANS further reported that the petition seeks direction from the court to hand over the probe to CBI, and let the investigating agency take action the accused persons allegedly involved in the incident, as the police have failed to make any arrest so far. The petition also seeks direction to the state government to immediate steps to terminate the social boycott imposed on the community member since July 2017. The petitioners have also sought compensation for the victims. The petition states, “The local police have aligned with the dominant community… Not a single person has been arrested.”

The order can be read here:

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