Parents of two Dalit children who were burnt alive at Sunperh village in Faridabad village are fed up with the security cover provided to them after the incident.
Jitender and Rekha lost their two kids on October 20 last year when their house was allegedly set on fire by some upper caste villagers. Ever since, 14 policemen guard their house round-the-clock. Whenever the couple moves out, they are accompanied by at least four policemen.
The couple says because of the security cover, they cannot move around freely, have stopped working in their fields, are left with little privacy and relatives and neighbours have stopped visiting them.
“I lost my job because I cannot take the cops to my office,” said Jitender.
“If I need to go somewhere, I have to hire a separate auto for the guards. I spend R100 on a travel which I used to cover with R10 earlier,” Jitender told HT at his house, with four security guards watching him.
Apart from monetary, the costs are social too.
“Since the CBI is investigating the case, the details of visitors to our house are recorded. To avoid this harassment, our relatives and neighbours have stopped visiting us,” said Rekha, who suffered burns in the fire and spent two months at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital.
The couple said though they feel safe but they are paying a heavy price for the security provided by the state government.
“We cannot visit our agricultural field. After losing my job, I wanted to harvest wheat few months ago. But the cops cannot stay out the whole day in the field with us. They told us it would be better if I stay in our house,” said Jitender.
“We have to follow instructions,” he said.
“Thank god we have a toilet inside our house. If we were going out to relieve ourselves, the cops would have followed us there too,” said Rekha, explaining how she has lost her privacy in her house. Jitender agrees. “Some of them are women too but I cannot go out leaving my wife alone with strangers in our house.”
The couple wants to leave the village to be “free” of the security. “It could be a status symbol for the rich. But it is a burden for us,” they said.
The couple said they have to arrange tea and food for the guards, a burden on their meagre resources. “We have to maintain the security, which the government provided us as compensation.”
“Fourteen cops guard Jitender’s house and some of them accompany him when he goes out,” said ACP Tigaon Vishnu Dayal.