New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday asked the central and Haryana governments what steps they were taking to recover the losses suffered during the 11-day long agitation by Jats last month to protest the arrests of their community members allegedly involved in attack on Dalits in Mirchpur village.
The apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly was told that the combined loss suffered by the central and Haryana governments amounted to Rs.34.41 crore.
The railways told the court that the agitation, which led to the disruption and diversion of trains on the Delhi-Ferozpur route, caused a loss of Rs.339,514,038, whereas Haryana assessed the losses suffered by it due to the road blockade at Rs.4,592,031.
Deputy Chief Commercial Manager (FM) of Northern Railway Shelly Srivastava in an affidavit said that Rs.32 crore were lost on account of disruption of freight movement, and Rs.18,275,806 were lost on account of passenger earnings.
The affidavit put the loss of haulage charge at Rs.514,959 and the loss on account of damage to railway property at Rs.7.23 lakh.
The Haryana government said that due to road blockade agitation, the state government suffered loss of Rs.4,592,031 on account of disruption of state transport bus services.
This included Rs.250,000 on account of damage to state transport buses.
Besides this, the state suffered a loss of another Rs.90,000 on account of 3,130 trees of different varieties that agitators cut at various point to block the roads.
The Haryana government affidavit filed by Chief Secretary Urvashi Gulati gave the details of the steps that the state government proposes to take to minimise the loss to environment because of cutting of trees.
The worst affected areas in terms of blockade of roads and cutting of trees are the Jat dominated districts of Jind, Hisar and Bhiwani.
The rail and road blockade was called by 12 “khap panchayats” or community panchayats of the Jats to protest the arrest of 98 people from the community for their alleged involvement in the attack on a Dalit locality in Mirchpur village, about 300 km from Chandigarh, in Hisar district April 21 last year.
A 70-year-old man and his 18-year-old physically challenged daughter were killed when the rioters torched their house.
The matter will come up for hearing March 7.