Twenty-three upper-caste Jat Hindus, including a former sarpanch, have been booked for socially boycotting Dalit residents of Chhatar village in Jind’s Uchana sub-division in Haryana.
More than 150 Dalit families have been denied ration, medicine, and any means to travel in and out of the village due to casteist restriction by the upper caste Hindu families.
Dalit families from the village alleged that members of Jat Hindu caste gave a call for their social boycott to build pressure on Dalits to withdraw a case against a member of their community.
Three weeks ago, some upper-caste youths beat up a Dalit youth Gurmeet over some argument related to a Kabbadi match in the village, according to PTI news agency. Police arrested an upper-caste Hindu after filing a case under provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act on Gurmeet’s complaint.
The upper-caste men along with panchayat members constantly pressured Gurmeet to withdraw the case.
Refusing to do withdraw the compliant, the Dalit community stood by the complainant and went ahead to send another complaints of social boycott and caste based violence against two dozen Jat Hindus to the Chief Minister’s office.
The Dalit residents claimed that the call was given after some upper-caste people called a panchayat recently and added that they were not able to get essential items or go to their fields due to the social boycott announced by Jat Hindus. About 150-200 Dalit families live in the village.
According to the casteist panchayat, anybody who offers help to the Dalits, by giving them ration, vegetables, milk, medicines, or even involved in any other dealings with them, would be fined Rs 11,000.
“We are not only denied daily ration but also prohibited from going to other places in the village. The farmers are not able to go to the field. The vegetable sellers are not coming to our locality. Even the doctors are not giving medicines to the sick,” Naresh, a Dalit resident in the village told The Wire.
According to The Wire report, though police booked some Jat men, the local government body members and police officials are continuously denying the allegations of social boycott.
Dalit youth told the news website that ‘Situation hasn’t improved despite police intervention.’
Naresh, alleged that when the media and police visit the village, upper-caste Hindus start behaving as if there is no social boycott. The moment they leave, the boycott is resumed.