General VK Singh, Union Minister of State for External Affairs, said Thursday that the Central government cannot be blamed for the murder of two Dalit children in Faridabad near Haryana, IBNLive reports. He compared the incident to the stoning of dogs.
Blaming a family feud for the burning alive of the two children, Singh drew the tasteless analogy, adding that the murder was the result of personal rivalry. "If someone throws stones at a dog, the government is not responsible. It was a feud between two families, the matter in under inquiry," Singh told reporters, and added, "Failure of administration should not be put on government's head."
The children, two-and-a-half year-old Vaibhav and 11-month-old Divya, were sleeping with their parents Rekha, 28, and Jitendra, 31, in their home when at 2.30 am on Tuesday, members of an upper caste family allegedly set their house on fire. The parents suffered serious injuries while the children died. Seven people have been arrested, reports NDTV.
After his comments had taken centre stage across news channels, Singh eventually tweeted a clarification that fell some way short of an apology.
My statement wasn't intended 2draw an analogy. My men & I put our lives on the line 4the nation irrespective of caste,creed & religion.(1/n)
— Vijay Kumar Singh (@Gen_VKSingh) October 22, 2015
Singh further said, "We must stand united and let no one exploit our diversity by blowing up localized issues."
Singh’s comments attracted a lot of criticism from leaders across party lines.
IBNLive reports that CPM leader Brinda Karat slammed Singh, saying his comment is casteist and he should be sacked immediately from the Cabinet.
Congress leader Priyanka Chaturvedi also called for his sacking, and took the opportunity to slam Singh’s party leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Chaturvedi said that if Modi does not take action on Singh, “it would mean that he is supporting such comments,” reports IBNLive.
— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) October 22, 2015
Why is media surprised VK Singh compared Dalit kids to a dog. His boss @narendramodi ji compared riot victims to puppies!
— Tehseen Poonawalla (@tehseenp) October 22, 2015
Modi Ji talked of a puppy, VK Singh says a dog! Is this government so apathetic, insensitive, callous?? https://t.co/eSDOZKrmn9
— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) October 22, 2015
With inputs from IANS
Updated Date: Oct 22, 2015 14:42:46 IST