Dalit Lynching at Dulina: Cow - Protection, Caste and Communalism

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In October, 2002, 5 men were brutally killed in the presence of, and possibly by, a large and violent mob on the main road outside the Dulina Police Post, near Jhajjar town (district Jhajjar) Haryana in front of the police and several senior district officials.

All 5 killed were Dalits, believed by the mob at the time to have been engaged in cow-slaughter. Newspapers covered the incident widely at the time. There were widespread protests over the lynching from Dalit groups, and some political parties. There was also violent opposition by local dominant groups to the arrests by that followed about a month later. In November and December 2002 a seven-member P.U.D.R team conducted an investigation into the incident and its aftermath. THe team visited villages Badshahpur and Teekli in Gurgaon district, and Dulina, Suhra and Talao in Jhajjar district, as well as Rohtak and Jhajjar towns. THe team met several police and district officials, the MLA from Bahadurgarh, a Bajrang Dal office-bearer of Haryana and VHP member, the Teekli Gaushala Committee, Jat leaders and Dalit activists, representatives of local political organisations, and families of victims. The team also attended a customary Panchayat (‘Sarv-Khap’ Panchayat) and were present at the ‘surrender’ of some of the accused at the PWD guesthouse in Jhajjar. Over 3 months after the incident, there continued to be several contesting versions of what happened at Dulina. The responses by the state and segments of civil society in Haryana and the rest of north India, is revealing. Through an enquiry of the aftermath, and the context of the Dulina lynching, this report attempts to understand what happened and to locate it within socio-political and economic processes at work in Haryana today.

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