Rahul blames Haryana government for Dalit killings

Faridabad, Oct 21 (IANS) Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday accused Haryana’s BJP government of failing to ensure security for the weaker sections.

Gandhi also said that the arson attack on a Dalit family here leading to the death of two children on Tuesday 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.

Gandhi visited the village and met Jitender, whose house was set on fire by a group of upper caste men after dousing it with petrol.

Denying his visit as a photo opportunity, Gandhi said, “It is an insult to the victim family and I will continue to visit them. I have told the family members that I will help them to the best possible extent.”

“The family wants a CBI inquiry. They are poor and that’s why this atrocity against them. I have spoken to the family members and all they want to know is what is their fault,” he said.

“This is not a government of the weak,” said Gandhi, adding, “This is an attitude shared by the prime minister, the chief minister and the Bharatiya Janata Party-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh combine. If somebody is weak, they can be crushed.”

Jitender’s wife Rekha, four-year-old son Vaibhav and eight-month-old daughter Divya received burn injuries in the arson attack. 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.

Seven policemen, including the chief of Sadar police station and those deputed to guard Sunped village, were suspended for negligence.

Police have arrested three suspects, Balwant, Kartar and Guddu, for the arson incident.

Beside Gandhi, Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Brinda Karat, former union minister Kumari Selja, Haryana Jnahit 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.

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