Chandigarh: Sunpedh village of Faridabad district in Haryana continues to be tense a day after two children were burnt alive in a shocking incident of caste violence. There is simmering anger in the Dalit community not just against the perpetrators of the crime, but also against the police which failed to provide protection to them leading to the ghastly incident. Rekha, 23, the mother of the two kids regained consciousness on Wednesday only to be told her children would soon be buried.
Vaibhav, 3, and 9-month-old Divya were rushed to Safdarjung Hospital around 3.30 am Tuesday. Doctors said both children suffered 60-70 percent thermal burns and were declared dead immediately.
Rekha wept quietly as her children were wrapped into tiny white bundles and an entire village bid a tearful goodbye to the innocents. She continues to be in a lot of pain and is barely able to speak but she "nodded vigorously" when she was asked if she wants to speak to the authorities. Doctors have put her on a heavy dose of painkillers to give her some physical relief.
A Special Investigating Team (SIT) has been set up to probe the incident, according to Mohammad Akil, Haryana ADGP Law and Order, who visited Sunped village to review the situation. DCP/NIT Faridabad will head the team, he said. A massive deployment of security forces has been made in the village. Ballabhgarh Deputy Commissioner of Police along with Tigaon Assistant Commissioner of Police is monitoring the situation to prevent any untoward incident. Three arrests have been made so far.
Meanwhile PTI reported that the Haryana Government on Wednesday recommended a CBI probe into the 'revenge killing' in Faridabad district.
"Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has recommended a CBI probe in the incident. A SIT has also been formed which is headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Puran Chand," Khattar's media advisor, Amit Arya said.
The Special Investigating Team (SIT) of the state police will probe the case before CBI takes it over, police sources said. Once the CBI probe gets notified, the investigation details will be handed over to them as per procedure.
What has shocked the Dalits here is the fact that the district administration and the police knew of the grave threat to the Dalit family and it had been given police protection for the last 10 months. Seven policemen posted in the area, including the in-charge of Sadar Ballabgarh police station, have been suspended with immediate effect for dereliction of duty.
The Dalits, however, are not satisfied with the government’s action against the policemen. They are demanding that an FIR be registered against them as they were equally responsible for the carnage. They charged that the policemen rarely remained posted in the area, This gave a chance to the attackers to set ablaze the house at night.
The Sunpedh incident is a reminder of the Mirchpur carnage in Hisar in 2010 where a Dalit, Tara Chand, aged 70 and his 16-year-old physically challenged daughter Suman were burned alive in their house. Later the one-man judicial commission of inquiry headed by justice Iqbal Singh had held the police and the duty magistrate responsible for the escalation of violence in the area. Then too, questions had been raised about the functioning of the Haryana police as it had failed to take timely action despite warnings against possible attack on Dalits in Mirchpur.
Jitender Kumar, father of the two children who died, said he used to be in fear the Rajputs ever since their communities clash with them a year ago. Jitender, who works in a medical store in Ballabhgarh, said no compensation or consolation could give him relief as he had lost both his children.
Anil Baba, Haryana unit president of the Republican Party of India (RPI), said they will not allow cremation of the bodies till a case was registered against the policemen held guilty for dereliction of duty.
Soon after Tuesday’s shocking incident, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had a telephonic talk with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to ensure security in the village to prevent such incidents. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today visited the village to meet the Dalit family. Former Congress Chief Minister of Haryana, Bhupinder Singh Hooda was one of the first to console Jitender Kumar yesterday.
Gandhi said that the arson attack is a result of "saffron policies".
The Haryana government has failed on the law and order front and "atrocities" on Dalits are on the rise, he said.
"This is not a government of the weak," said Gandhi. "This is an attitude shared by the prime minister, the chief minister and the BJP-RSS. If somebody is weak, they can be crushed."
Politicians made a beeline for the village. Haryana Pradesh Congress president Dr Ashok Tanwar, BJP MP from Ambala, Rattanlal Kataria, CPM’s Brinda Karat and Ramdas Athawale, MP from Maharashtra, all landed up.
Updated Date: Oct 22, 2015 12:44 PM