New Delhi: Son of a 70-year-old man, who was burnt alive along with his physically challenged daughter by dominant Jat community people at Mirchpur in Haryana, emerged in a court here on Thursday which recounted the chain of events.

25-year-old Amar Lal, son of slain elderly dalit Tara Chand, told Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau that on the unfateful day of April 21, 2010, a 400-strong mob of Jats had descended on the village, armed with stones, in rickshaws and carts and attacked the villagers who were barely out of their beds.

Lal said he saw his co-villagers taking shelters on roof-tops of their houses and retaliating to the massive stone-pelting by the crowd. He saw Narnaund police station in-charge Vinod Kumar Kajal, who too is an accused in the case, asking the villagers to gather at the chaupal, where, he said, he would sort out the issue after a meeting with Jats.

"The Station House Officer also assured us that he would also bring the Jat people to the chaupal and would try to sort out the things," Lal said, adding nothing came out of the meeting as hardly any of the influential Jat community members attended it. Identifying some Jat community members, including Rajinder Pali and Ramphal, in the court room as accused, Lal said that when he returned from the chaupal, he found the duo and some others sprinkling kerosene oil over his house and those of others.

"My father (Tara Chand) and sister were inside the house and Rajinder, along with others, had put my house on fire. Somehow, we managed to take out my father from the burning house but my physically challenged sister remained stuck inside the house and was burnt alive there only," Lal said, recalling his sister's death.

Lal said after his sister's death he rushed his father to a nearby government hospital where he too succumbed to his injuries.

Asked what had sparked the violence, Lal said he was not personally aware of what triggered it but, he said, he had heard that two days earlier a dog belonging to dalits had barked at a group of drunk Jat youths passing through the colony of dalits.

As one of the Jat youths hurled a stone at the dog to scare it away, a dalit boy objected to it and this resulted in a brief brawl there and two days later culminated in the killings of the 70-year-old dalit and his physically challenged teenaged daughter.

He also deposed that after burning his house and several other dalit hamlets, accused Vikas, Kulvinder, Rishi and Karampal and Vipin, who has not been made accused in the case, started dancing naked on the street. Lal was examined as a court witness as he was not examined by the prosecution. Lal also rejected the defense counsel's suggestion that he had given wrong statements earlier under political pressure.

The court asked the defense and prosecution counsel to submit the synopsis of their arguments to it by June 27 and fixed July 4 to begin the arguments on a day-to-day basis.

Out of 103 accused in the case, 97 are lodged in Tihar Jail after being transferred from Hissar jail on the Apex Court's direction. Five are juveniles and one is out on bail.

The Supreme Court had last year transferred the case to the special court here designated under the SC/ST (Prevention of atrocities) Act, 1989 to ensure a free and fair trial.

(Agencies)