SC seeks info on recovery of losses

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Railways and the Haryana government to spell out steps taken by them to recover financial losses caused following a stir in December last against booking of some upper caste people in connection with the Mirchpur dalit killings case.

"What steps have been taken by the Railway Board and the state government for the recovery of losses to public property," a bench of justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly said.

The apex court made the query after the state government submitted that the traffic blockade and destruction of property during the agitation caused a loss of around Rs 47 lakh to the exchequer.

The state government in its affidavit submitted that the loss of Rs 45.92 lakh was caused to the transport department due to agitation and Rs 90,000 was spent by the forest department in removing 3130 trees which were uprooted by the protestors.

Villagers had been protesting the booking of 98 members of their community in the case relating to the killing of 70-year-old Tara Chand and his teenaged daughter Suman at Mirchpur village in Hisar on April 21 last year.

The court on January 31 had also asked the Railways to inform it about the loss caused to exchequer due disruption of railway traffic on the Jind-Jakhal section of the Delhi-Ferozepur route.

The Railways, which failed to comply with the apex court order of placing the affidavit, was granted a week`s time to do so.

Demanding a fresh probe into the dalit killings, upper caste people of Mirchpur and other adjoining villages in Hisar district had brought the rail and road traffic to Delhi via Jind to a grinding halt earlier this month.

The court posted the matter for further hearing on March 7.

In the last hearing, the apex court had asked the Railways and the Haryana government to assess their financial losses due to the disruption in rail and road traffic during the 11-day stir organised by 12 `khap` panchayats.