Caste riot: 11 years on, 35 get three years in jail each
HISAR: A court here on Saturday sentenced 34 men to three years in jail for rioting with deadly weapon, mischief and others offences in connection with caste violence which took place in Petwar village of the district in January 2008.
The court of additional session judge D R Chalia also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on each convict, all residents of Petwar. They were convicted on January 30 and were acquitted all in allegations levelled against them under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
In the case, challans were framed against 52 accused. Of them, 14 were declared proclaimed offenders, including five brothers, during trial. One of the accused had died during the case, while the trial against a minor accused had been transferred to a juvenile court.
In January 2008, a case under sections 148 (rioting with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawfull assembly), 323 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his dury), 353 (assault or criminial force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 427 (mischief causing damage) of the Indian Penal Code, and under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, was registered at Narananda police station near here.
In his statement, Jai Singh, resident of Petwar, alleged that a panchayat of all communities, except of his, was held in their village a day before the incident. On the fateful day, he claimed that a mob assembled outside their house and used casteist words against him and people of his community. The mob asked everyone from his community to leave their houses and threatened to burn their property down if they did not do so, he alleged.
When women of the families protested, the mob entered the houses, broke their belongings, and set their homes on fire.
During this time, some people informed the police. Though police teams, including officers, reached the spot, the crowd pelted stones at them and injured many cops and damaged their vehicles too.