Dalits in Haryana's Bhagana Village Continue to Live in Exile after Social Boycott

Reported by

Elizabeth Mani

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

March 26, 2019

March 26, 2019

Updated on

March 26, 2019

Location of Conflict

Bhagana

Hisar

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Caste-based Conflict

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

500

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

113

ha

Starting Year

2012

State

Haryana

Sector

Land Use

Dalit families in Haryana's Bhagana village fled their homes due to a boycott by the Jat community over a land dispute. They have been camping outside the Hisar district secretariat. They have filed several complaints and writ petitions in the Haryana High Court. The conflict can be traced back to 2012, when the Bhagana panchayat allotted 280 acres of common land to families living below the poverty line (BPL) under the Mahatma Gandhi Grameen Basti Yojana. The move was in response to the Haryana government's announcement made in 2011 that land would be allotted to every BPL family. But the announcement never materialised and the panchayat decided to take matters into its own hands. The sarpanch (head of the panchayat), along with the panchayat members, prepared a scheme to divide and distribute the common land among the BPL families. They allocated 1,000 square yards of land to each uppercaste Jat family while dalit households were allocated 100 square yards each. This was because the common land was distributed in proportion to the land that the residents already owned, and the dalit families were mostly landless. As a result, the Jats allegedly managed to corner most of the redistributed land. The dalits were also asked to deposit Rs 1,000 as registration fee. In February 2012, the dominant Jat community in the village decided to lay claim to a playground that the dalits had been using for years. On February 23 that year, the Jats uprooted the trees that the dalits had planted around the playground and levelled the seating arrangements the latter had installed. The Jats also claimed that the playground was part of the village common land. When several Dalits approached the government authorities seeking help, the Jats became angry and called for the social and economic boycott of the dalit community. Unable to cope with the discrimination, 138 dalit families fled the village. In March 2014, Bhagana witnessed a second exodus after four minor girls belonging to the Dhanak community were allegedly gangraped by five Jat men. The accused were arrested but later released on bail. The incident instilled fear in the minds of the remaining Dalit households, and close to 100 Dhanak families left the village. They came to Delhi to demand justice, where they stayed for almost a month and met political leaders and government officials. They returned to their village after filing a First Information Report. Some members of the Dalit community filed a writ petition in 2014 in the Chandigarh High Court seeking rehabilitation of the affected families and prosecution of the accused. In March 2019, National Scheduled Caste Commission directed the state government to rehabilitate the victim families and provide them land and their houses. But, the rehabilitation remains pending. In February 2020, the High Court closed the case pertaining to the alleged gangrape as the court was informed that the accused in the case were acquitted. Awaiting justice, some dalit families are living in make shift tents near Hisar District Court complex, said Captain Tularam of Dr Ambedkar Sangarsh Shiksha Samiti. " While many others have relocated to other nearby villages in search of livelihood," he said.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand for promised land

Demand for rehabilitation

Demand for compensation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Other, Central/State Government Policy

Legislations/Policies Involved

Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
Section 3(g): Prohibits wrongfully dispossessing a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe from his premises or interfering with their rights over their land or premises; Section (w): Prohibits non-consensual touching of a woman belonging to a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe if such tough is of a sexual nature; Section 3(y): Prohibits attempts to prevent members of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe from accessing places of public resort to which other members of the public have a right to access; Section 3(z): Prohibits forcing or causing a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe to leave his house, village, or other place of residence; Section 3(z)(c): Prohibits imposing or threatening a social/economic boycott of any person belonging to a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe; Section 3(2)(v): Anyone who commits an offence under the IPC that is punishable with imprisonment for 10 years or more against a member of an SC or ST may be punished with imprisonment for life and fine.
Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 366A: Procuring a minor to force her to undergo illicit intercourse with another person; Section 376: Rape
G.S.R. 414(E), Rules of Procedure of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, March 25, 2009
Rule 7.5: The National Commission for Scheduled Castes is empowered to inquire into atrocities committed against Scheduled Castes and monitor the case to ensure that proper compensation is paid to the victims as per law.
Maharashtra Village Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA), Rules 2014
Under this scheme, members of eligible Scheduled Castes and families below the poverty line will be allotted free residential plots of 100 sq. yards each.
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Forced evictions/dispossession of land

Lack of legal protection over land rights

Non-rehabilitation of displaced people

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Yes

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Punjab and Haryana

Case Number

Civil Writ Petition 9394 of 2014

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Displacement

Sexual violence/sexual harassment

Financial harassment

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Violation of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, since February 2012., In February 2012, dalits faced social and economic boycott for opposing the illegal distribution of common land. Unable to bear the discrimination, 138 dalit families fled the village., Four minor girls were gangraped by Jats in March 2014.

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

No items found.

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Bhagana Village Panchayat, Haryana Government, National Scheduled Caste Commission

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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