Haryana’s Mewat region has recently come under the spotlight after myriad cases of subjugation of Dalits by the Muslim residents of the district have come to fore. The atrocities committed against Hindus, especially Dalits, were highlighted in the investigation report by 4-member team headed by former Justice Pawan Kumar which said that Mewat is gradually turning into a graveyard for Hindus, especially Dalits.
In line with the findings of the report which revealed systematic oppression of Dalits at the hands of the Muslim population, an incident occurred in Mewat where a 24-year-old Rahul was assaulted by members of the Muslim community in his village Uleta. When Rahul’s family went to save their son, even they were subjected to assault by the assailants.
OpIndia contacted Jaswant, victim Rahul’s uncle who talked about the hardships faced by members of his community in the village and refusal by the police to lodge their complaints. Narrating about the incident that led to the attack by Muslims, Jaswant said, “My nephew Rahul sold a mobile phone to a man named Momin Aneesh for Rs 6,000. Since the man had only Rs 4,000 at that point in time, my nephew gave him the mobile phone but withheld the bill, saying he would give it to Momin Aneesh when he makes the balance payment of Rs 2,000.”
Rahul’s uncle alleges that on April 21, when Rahul left the house, Momin intercepted him on his way and demanded the bill of the mobile phone. When Rahul reminded him of the balance amount to be paid by him, he lost his temper and started attacking Rahul. After a while, he brought with him members of the Muslim community who violently attacked Rahul. Jaswant claims that even the senior members of the village made casteist slurs against Rahul and egged on the assailants to continue thrashing Rahul.
“When our family members rushed to save Rahul, even we all were beaten. A total of 4 men and three women were assaulted in the attack by Aneesh and his men. My brother’s wife was caught by two men and they were taking her inside a room but fortunately, some villagers came and rescued us all. Otherwise, I can’t imagine what could have happened to us all,” Jaswant said.
Jaswant states that thrashing of Hindus is a common occurrence in Uleta, a village with 30-35 Hindu families among at least 350 Muslim homes. There is a constant fear of retribution from the Muslim majority in the village that victims are hesitant to muster the courage of filing a complaint against Muslim assailants. Jaswant further added even the sarpanch of the village did not bother to ask after them following the incident. This time, even other villagers stayed away from inquiring about their well being. Instead, Jaswant was intimidated by a well-known person in the village who warned him that if he wants to stay in the village, he will have to live under their yoke.
OpIndia contacted police over removal of SC/ST act
OpIndia contacted the Nagina police station to confirm the allegations that sections of the SC/ST act have been removed from the case. SHO Ramesh Chandra said that Rahul’s case was being investigated by DSP Virendra of Ferozepur Jhirka. However, now the Punhana DSP Vivek Chaudhary is handling the case.
When OpIndia contacted Ferozepur Jhirka DSP to find out why the sections of the SC/ST act have been removed from the case, the police hung up on us. We tried to contact the police again but to no avail.
After this, we got in touch with DSP Punhana Vivek Chaudhary who claimed that the SC/ST act has been reimposed in Rahul’s case. Apart from this, a letter has also been written to the Welfare Officer and charge-sheet has also been filed in the case. When we asked Jaswant if he was notified of the development, he said in affirmative that the DSP had informed him that the SC/ST act has been again added to the case.
FIR filed in the case
Jaswant has also shared a copy of FIR filed in the case which chronicles the details of the events that led to the assault by Momin Aneesh and other members of the Muslim community against Rahul and his family members. The FIR clearly states that in the incident that took place on 21 April 2020—Tarif, Heir, Wajid, Momin Aneesh, Yusuf, Mustufa, Adil, Islam, Aleem, Majlis, Arif, Rukasina, Tahira, Mimkina together launched an assault against Rahul and his family members and reportedly passed pejorative remarks against their caste.
In the FIR lodged on April 23 at 7:05, Rahul has alleged that he was attacked by a battleaxe by Tarif and Alim said, “Kill this low caste man. I will see it all”. Rahul also alleged that the accused threatened to kill him and his family one day. “If you want to live in the village, you will have to live under our yoke,” they had told Rahul.
History of such fights in the village
Rahul’s uncle, Jaswant said that this is not the first time that Dalits have been subjected to atrocities by the dominant community in the village. He claimed that such acts of cruelty have continued unabated since 1992 and revealed that his family had been the victim of such savagery at least 20 times. Jaswant remembers that his family had a fight with the same Muslim family 10-12 years ago as well.
A decade back, an argument touched off between the two families when filthy water was poured over the women of the Dalit family. When the men in the family opposed this misconduct, the aggressors refused to accept their mistakes and an altercation between the two sides ensued. Later, the Muslim family accused Jaswant’s family of being responsible for the miscarriage of a five-month pregnant woman and tried to file a case of feticide against the family. After much efforts, Jaswant’s family extricated themselves from the case. The family had reportedly spent Rs 50,000 on their extraction from the case.
Victim’s family approaches CM Khattar to file a complaint, but could not meet him
Significantly, in view of the atrocities on Hindus in Mewat, Chief Minister Khattar held a meeting at the Mini Secretariat a couple of days ago with two groups of people. Jaswant and his family also reached the Mini Secretariat to raise their grievances with the chief minister but they could not meet him since he was inside having a meeting another set of people. Jaswant and all the people accompanying him returned home around 9 PM in the evening after waiting for hours outside the secretariat.
After VHP highlighted the plight of Hindus in Haryana’s Mewat region, CM Khattar held meetings to assuage the concerns of the Hindu organisations and later announced that his government will bring legislation to outlaw forced conversions and set up a Dharmada Board to protect Hindu common properties.