BPL families of Dharodhi village are shifting to nearby villages in the wake of growing tension in the area. (HT photo)

A day after the death of a youth in a clash over panchayati land in Dharodhi village in Jind district, tension prevailed in the village on Sunday and over 50 below poverty line (BPL) families, most of them belonging to Dalit community, left their houses and shifted to nearby villages.

A clash broke out between two groups over five acres of panchayati land as the village sarpanch, along with the block development and panchayat officer (BDPO), attempted to take possession of the land for allotment of residential plots to BPL families, majority of whom are Dalits. Vikram, 28, had received serious injuries in clash, died later.

On Sunday, the khap panchayats held a meeting and asked the government to pay Rs 25 lakh as compensation to the deceased’s family and announce government job for his wife before July 29. The khap leaders also demanded immediate arrest of the nine people booked by the police in the case.

“The khap leaders will take a big decision on July 29, if the government, district administration and the police failed to meet our demands”, said khap leader Raghubir Nain. When contacted, Jind SP Abhishek Jorwal refuted the allegations of attack on Dalits saying, “Sarpanch Mahender Punia and his two sons were among the eight people booked on the charge of murder”.

“More that 60 people were involved in the clash. Though the accused belong to both Dalit community and upper castes, most of the Dalits are leaving the village as they are apprehending police action against them”, said the SP. Asserting that the situation was under control, he said, “We have deputed adequate police to deal with untoward incident”.

He added, “Three people have already been arrested and we are sure that we will arrest the remaining accused in the next 24 hours”.A dalit woman, Sudesh, who has left her house along with her family, said, “Nobody has attacked our houses yet, but we apprehend tension in the village and have decided to shift with our relatives to nearby villages until the peace is restored in the village”.

According to the locals, sarpanch Punia, who wants to the contest the coming panchayat elections, has decided to woo the BPL families of the village by promising them 100-yard residential plots, for which he decided to get 5 acres of panchayati agriculture land vacated.

The decision was opposed by the people of the rival group and they opposed the sarpanch and the BDPO, when they went to the village to take possession. This agitated the BPL card holders and they attacked the rival group and in the ensuing clash Vikram, a Jat boy, was killed and two others Sukhiram and Sandeep received serious injuries. Agitated over the death, the members of the upper caste burnt a Haryana Roadways bus and clashed with the police.