Dalit community members from a Haryana village have knocked the doors of the Supreme Court against the “social boycott” they are facing for over two years due to a dispute with the “dominant” community over drawing water from a hand-pump.
Terming the issue as “serious”, the apex court on Tuesday said it is a matter related to social boycott and atrocity and the police have to take action.
“There are allegations about social boycott and atrocity. Police have to look into it. This is a serious matter,” a bench of justices N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and B R Gavai told the counsel appearing for Haryana government.
The bench told the counsel that it has called for his presence in the case so that he can take proper instruction from the authorities concerned.
The top court asked the state counsel to call a senior police officer associated with the case on November 8 and also file a status report in the matter.
The bench was hearing a petition which has raised the issue of social boycott of Dalit community in a village in Haryana’s Hisar district from July 2, 2017.
The plea has sought a direction to the CBI to take over the probe and prosecute those against whom complaints have been filed with the police alleging that not even a single person has been arrested so far.
It has also sought a direction to the Haryana government to “immediately put an end to the social boycott imposed by the dominant community since July 2, 2017, inter alia, and punish all those responsible for the social boycott by imposition of a collective fine on the dominant community.”
Further, it sought a direction for appropriate externment orders against those involved in the incident and payment of substantial compensation to the victims.
“There has never been such a severe and protracted social boycott of a village of Dalit community comprising of about 500 houses for such a protracted period of over one and half years as in the present instance,” the plea said.
It alleged that the issue was raised before the Punjab and Haryana High Court but the social boycott still continues.
“The threats continue and the community is most insecure. The local police have aligned with the dominant community against the Dalits and the sessions judge has in fact criticised the conduct of the police. Not a single person has been arrested,” it claimed.
The petitioners claimed that dispute arose on June 15, 2017 when a group of Dalit boys were assaulted by the members of dominant community over the use of a hand-pump for drawing water.
It said that six persons were hospitalised in the assault after which an FIR was registered.
The petitioners alleged that when the members of Dalit community refused to withdraw the FIR, the members of dominant community and an unregistered organisation issued a call for their social boycott and even their water supply was stopped.
“As a result of the social boycott imposed by respondent number three (organisation), the Dalit community have been blocked from free entry into residential areas and fields which they have exercised for decades.
“They have been blocked from accessing ration shops, dairy shops, hair cutting saloons and the water supply has been sporadically stopped forcing the Dalits to approach the administration,” the plea said.