Honor killing in Haryana is more rampant than what is covered by media, says a dalit activist of Bhagana movement. He has been sitting in front of mini secretariat with others members of his village for almost five years now. They have been protesting against the atrocities that they faced in their village form those of the dominant caste. Five days ago they were joined by a young widow of 22 and other family members. Poonam who is a mother of a five month old wants justice for her husband Rajesh who was murdered by her own family who were against the two tying the knot in 2015 and for her brother in law who was beaten brutally by the police and is now paralyzed partially. Poonam belongs to the Jat community and married out of her caste to a dalit which infuriated her family members. Over the time period they have been threatening Rajesh and his family, told his grieving mother. Wo log bolte the ki saare baal ukhad lenge or chamri utar denge.(they said they will remove his hair and peel of his skin) And that was how the body of Rajesh was found on the railway tracks. A letter was also left on their door the day he went missing. He had told his mother he will be back in just half an hour but he never came back.
The family is still in shock and wants justice for both sons who were the only source of a steady income for the family. They filed an FIR against Poonam’s family as they are convinced they were responsible for the murder. Rajesh was murdered on 4th February and still not a single arrest has been made. The elder brother Rakesh who is partially paralyzed says “polile waale aakar bole ki side me chalo kuch baat karna hai aur phir zabardasti jeep me baitha ke le gaye”.(the police asked him to come see them for a minute ad then shoved him in their jeep). The police didn’t just unlawfully detained him they also hung him upside down for more than two hours and then beat him up. When the family members went to get him out the police stalled them. His mother also told us that he was made to clean the place up while being hand cuffed and was humiliated and abused. After the incident Rakesh has suffered severe injuries to his spinal cord and his lost sensation in his left leg completely. His shoulders also remain injured.
They have tried contacting the SHO of Hisar district but have failed till date. Last evening some policemen came over to poke around. The family is skeptical of police. Poonam says that her family is influential and has bribed the police. Poonam also told that the police have been continually trying to pin this on her. Earlier the police claimed that she killed her own husband because she had an affair with her son in law Rakesh and now that they could prove nothing in spite of torturing Rakesh they are claiming that Poonam had an extramarital affair with some neighbor and killed her husband to get rid of him. The police are also trying to coerce her into admitting that the handwriting on the letter was hers. Poonam’s family came to see her when she was in labor and her aunt threatened her even then. The family is fully supportive of Poonam and wants her to have justice. They have settled here with basics and plan to sit till the officials punish the perpetuators and the policemen responsible for the injuries suffered by Rakesh are held accountable.
They also told us that the officials have been using the Jat agitation as an excuse to postpone other cases in the area.