SC seeks info on recovery of losses due to Mirchpur stir

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New Delhi, Feb 21 (PTI) The Supreme Court today asked theRailways and the Haryana government to spell out steps takenby them to recover financial losses caused following a stir inDecember last against booking of some upper caste people inconnection with the Mirchpur dalit killings case.

"What steps have been taken by the Railway Board and thestate government for the recovery of losses to publicproperty," a bench of justices G S Singhvi and A K Gangulysaid.

The apex court made the query after the state governmentsubmitted that the traffic blockade and destruction ofproperty during the agitation caused a loss of around Rs 47lakh to the exchequer.

The state government in its affidavit submitted that theloss of Rs 45.92 lakh was caused to the transport departmentdue to agitation and Rs 90,000 was spent by the forestdepartment in removing 3130 trees which were uprooted by theprotestors.

Villagers had been protesting the booking of 98 members oftheir community in the case relating to the killing of70-year-old Tara Chand and his teenaged daughter Suman atMirchpur village in Hisar on April 21 last year.

The court on January 31 had also asked the Railways toinform it about the loss caused to exchequer due disruptionof railway traffic on the Jind-Jakhal section of theDelhi-Ferozepur route.

The Railways, which failed to comply with the apex courtorder of placing the affidavit, was granted a week''s time todo so.

Demanding a fresh probe into the dalit killings, uppercaste people of Mirchpur and other adjoining villages in Hisardistrict had brought the rail and road traffic to Delhi viaJind to a grinding halt earlier this month.

The court posted the matter for further hearing on March7.

In the last hearing, the apex court had asked the Railwaysand the Haryana government to assess their financial lossesdue to the disruption in rail and road traffic during the11-day stir organised by 12 ''khap'' panchayats.

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