(Roundup) Faridabad/Chandigarh: The Haryana government on Wednesday ordered a CBI probe into the arson attack by upper castes in Faridabad district that left two Dalit children dead and a woman battling for life. “The Haryana government has ordered a CBI probe into the incident,” Amit Arya, media adviser to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, told the media in Chandigarh. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who visited the victim’s family in Faridabad on Wednesday, accused Haryana’s BJP government of failing to ensure security for the weaker sections. Gandhi also said that the arson attack was a result of “saffron policies”.
The Haryana government had failed on the law and order front and “atrocities” on Dalits were on the rise, he said in Sunped village in this district that borders Delhi. “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.” Gandhi visited the village and met Jitender, whose house was set on fire by a group of upper caste people after throwing petrol from an open window. Jitender’s wife Rekha, four-year-old son Vaibhav and eight-month-old daughter Divya received burn injuries. Both children succumbed to their injuries. The wife is battling for life in a hospital.
Meanwhile, protesters blocked the Faridabad-Mathura road at Kaili village near Ballabgarh by placing the children’s bodies on the road. They demanded the immediate arrest of all 11 people named in the police complaint and a government job for Jitender. The state government has suspended eight policemen, including the chief of Sadar police station, and those deputed to guard Sunped village. Police officials said that four arrests have been made in the case. Besides Gandhi, Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Brinda Karat, former union minister Kumari Selja, Haryana Janhit Congress (Bhajan Lal) leader Kuldeep Bishnoi and National Commission for Scheduled Castes member Ishwar Singh visited the village to meet the bereaved family.
Haryana’s Additional Director General of Police Muhammad Akil also visited the area. Police said the arson was linked to a clash on October 5 in Sunped in which three upper caste people were killed. Three members of Jitender’s family were among the 11 jailed for last year’s violence. At that time, the Congress government headed by Bhupinder Singh Hooda was in power in Haryana. In New Delhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said nobody should be discriminated on the basis of faith, caste or creed. “The news of intolerance we are getting from electronic and print media is very worrisome,” the minister said while inaugurating the Indian Police Foundation and the Indian Police Institute here. Rajnath Singh said he was making the appeal on the eve of Dusshera in the backdrop of incidents that have caused tensions in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh, Faridabad in Haryana and in Punjab.
The CPI-M demanded the immediate arrest of the accused in the Faridabad killings. “It is the utter failure of the administration which ignored the complaints of the Dalit family because of which two innocent babies were burnt to death,” CPI-M leader Brinda Karat said after meeting the victim family. Karat accused the Haryana government of not giving credence to the complaints of Dalits. “Even 36 hours later, the chief minister has not bothered to visit the village nor has he deputed any senior minister to the village.” Officials told the delegation that only four of the 11 people named in the police complaint had been arrested. Karat demanded the immediate arrest of all the accused, action against erring police officials, adequate compensation to the family and investigation by agencies independent of the Haryana government.