New Delhi, 10 Aug 2015: A day after more than 50 Dalits from Haryana converted to Islam near Parliament House, their camp at Jantar Mantar in Delhi was raided allegedly by cops around midnight and they were asked to vacate the place. When they refused to do so, they were mercilessly beaten up allegedly by cops and some others in civil dress. At least two of the villagers got fractures in hand and half a dozen were injured.
The victims, who hail from Bhagana village in Hisar district of Haryana, converted to Islam on Saturday afternoon. They recited kalimah and offered Namaz on the roadside at Jantar Mantar. As the word about their conversion spread, around two dozen people allegedly belonging to some Hindu right groups reached the spot in the evening and clashed with the converts. Police reportedly detained 10 each from both sides but released them later in the night.
However, on Sunday night, they were again attacked.
“We were sleeping. It was around 11 pm. A group of policemen and some others in civil dress – they were 15-20 in number – came up to us and tried to evict us from the place. We said where we can go at this time in the night. They said they don’t care. When we refused to leave they started beating us with clubs. They mercilessly beat up us. Seven of us were severely injured. One is still in hospital,” said Deepak who sustained injuries in hand and back.
Deepak, another villager from Bhagana, was injured in the attack in Delhi on 9 Aug 2015
The right hand of Satish Kajla, who changed his name as Abul Kalam after conversion, was fractured in the attack. Kajla is one of the active members of the Bhagana Kand Sangharsh Samiti, a committee formed by the victim families to fight for justice.
Why they converted
“We have been facing untouchability, atrocity, boycott and gang-rape – at the root of all these problems is the Hinduwadi system. While living in this system, no friend from outside helps us saying it is our internal issue. We have thought that if we have to save our future, if not present, then we will have to go out of this system,” said Satish Kajla wearing a white Muslim skullcap after conversion on Saturday.
Facing alleged persecution and boycott by upper caste Hindus in Hisar for over four years, last week they had hinted at converting to Islam. In a written statement, the victim families had said some of the victims have already converted to Islam in protest against the atrocities of upper caste Hindus.
“Continuously facing untouchability, atrocities and injustice, 500 families of Bhagana (village) will convert in front of the Parliament House in New Delhi on 8 Aug 2015 and will demand arrest of culprits and guilty officers and restoration to their homes,” Samiti had said.
Another person whose hand fractured in the attack in Delhi on 9 Aug 2015
“Bhagana victims have been running from pillar to post for justice for the last four years. Despite dozens of protests, court arrests and continuous sit-in from Hisar to Jantar Mantar, the Dalits have not got justice, security and respect. Saddened with the atrocities of upper caste Hindus, some victims have converted to Islam as a mark of protest,” said the Samiti.
According to the Samiti, Khap Panchayats had boycotted 250 Dalit families and forced them to flee the village in 2011. The Jats illegally occupied 280 acres of land and stopped Dalits from
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