Mirchpur residents intensify protest, 121 khaps extend support

Jind, Jan 21 (PTI) Residents of Mirchpur and adjoiningvillages, demanding a fresh probe into the killing of twoDalits in April last year, have said that they would intensifytheir ongoing agitation by staging protests at 50 more placesand claimed that 121 Khaps (self-styled panchayats) in thestate have extended their support to their protest.

The protest which entered its seventh consecutive daytoday has disrupted rail and road traffic in the state.

The protesters are likely to stage protest at 50 differentplaces in the state during the day, disrupting rail and roadtraffic, their spokesman Suresh Koth said.

Members of the pre-dominant Jat community have beensitting on the tracks at Julani village near Jind railwaystation since January 15, due to which railway traffic on theJind-Jakhal section of the Delhi-Ferozepur route has beendisrupted.

Koth had claimed that 121 Khaps (self-styledpanchayats) in the state have extended their support to theprotest.

The protesters rued that the state government wasmisleading the protesters by not taking any action on theirdemand for a fresh probe on the plea that the matter wasbefore the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, police personnel have been deployed instrength to ensure peace.

After the upper-caste villagers began their indefinitedharna, the call for which was issued by a Jat Mahapanchayatof 42 khaps, long-route passenger and goods trains have beendiverted via other routes, including Jakhal, while some localpassenger trains have been cancelled.

The villagers are protesting the booking of 98 membersof their upper-caste community in the case relating to thekilling of 70-year-old Dalit Tara Chand and his 17-year-olddaughter Suman in April last year.

A Delhi court had on January nine directed the Haryanagovernment to move all the 98 accused from Hisar jail to NewDelhi''s Tihar prison following the transfer of their trial toa special court in Delhi by an order of the Supreme Court onDecember 9 last year, after the aggrieved party had approachedthe Apex court claiming that a fair trial was not possiblewithin the state.

The protesters are demanding that the probe be heldeither at Rohtak or Hisar and the accused be lodged in eitherof the two jails.

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