The Bhupinder Singh Hooda government came under heavy fire on Wednesday from members of a visiting parliamentary committee over its failure in checking incidents of crimes against Dalits in Haryana.
The 11-member standing committee on welfare of SC/ST led by Trinamool Congress MP Gobinda Chandra met families of two gangrape victims at Sachakhera in Jind and Kalayat in Kaithal. As the families alleged that they were frequently receiving threats, committee members directed the police to ensure their safety.
Later, the committee convened a meeting at Kaithal that was attended by chief secretary PK Chaudhery, director general of police RS Dalal, and the deputy commissioners of Hisar division. After the meeting, CPI's Rajya Sabha MP D Raja, one of the members, said the condition of Dalits in Haryana had not improved since the incident in Mirchpur village of Hisar where a Dalit man and his handicapped daughter were burnt alive in April last year, allegedly by a group from the dominant Jat community. The same committee had visited Mirchpur after that incident which also saw the mob burning down 18 Dalit houses.
"Families of the rape victims and others from Dalit communities told us that they were living under constant threat. Feeling of being insecure prevails among them, and it is worrisome," said Raja, underlining that rape, murder and other crimes against the weaker sections of society were going on "unabated" in Haryana.
Another member MP belonging to the Samajwadi Party from Uttar Pradesh, Mithilesh Kumar, told reporters that Haryana had failed to protect the Dalits. Thawar Chand Gehlot, a BJP MP from Madhya Pradesh, said state authorities had been directed to ensure security and financial assistance to the two victim families.
At Sachakhera, the MPs reprimanded officials for not providing any compensation to family of the teenaged girl who committed suicide after she was raped. However, the victim's father later met the team at Kaithal in the presence of the media and said that he had received a compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh. Asked if he was satisfied, Balraj replied in the affirmative.
Some people raised slogans and lied before the bus of the MPs at Jind after the police did not allow them to meet the standing committee members. One of the committee members, Mithilesh Kumar, later blamed the officials for not letting the common men to interact with them.