Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday visited the family of the two kids who were burnt alive in alleged caste violence.
In a suggestion that gave credence to speculation that the gruesome incident was the fallout of a clash last year in which three members of the Rajput community were killed, the CM said the CBI will also look into the reasons behind the clash.
However, local MP and Union minister of state for social justice, Krishan Pal Gurjar clarified the CM’s statement later. “The chief minister did not say that the CBI will investigate last year’s case in which three Rajputs were killed. What he meant was that the probe will also take into account the events that happened before the incident,” Gurjar told HT.
Khattar told Jitender, the father of the two dead kids, that his government will bring the culprits to justice and assured him of a government job and that the state government will bear the full expense of his wife’s treatment, who was also injured in the incident. Even before the CM arrived at Jitender’s house, the district administration handed over three cheques amouting to `10 lakh to him.
Later, when Khattar left, a large number of Dalits from different areas raised slogans against the Haryana government and chief minister Khattar.
Local MLA Tek Chand Sharma, from BSP, was present in the house when the sloganeering took place. The protesters were angry that the CM did not meet them. “It was a conspiracy by the administration that we were not allowed to speak to him (Khattar),” said one of the those in the crowd.
At one stage, some Dalits entered into a heated argument with SDM Ballabgarh Priyanka Soni. The administration had made massive security arrangements in the village in wake of the chief minister’s visit.
When the CM was returning to Faridabad, some upper caste people raised slogans against the chief minister and state government. Sensing trouble, police barricaded the road so that the agitating Rajputs do not disturb CM’s cavalcade. However, they were assured that the chief minister would listen to their point of view in circuit house, Faridabad.
Family in fear
“I will not live in this village any more,” said Jitender Kumar, 31 whose two kids were burnt to alive in the early hours on Tuesday. “ Had I been from upper caste, nobody would have dared to touch me. Now I feel highly insecure,” he said soon after CM Khattar left his house.
“Muje ab dar lag reha hai. Yeh log muje be maar deengay (I fear for my life now. These people would kill me now too),” he said.
The widows of the three Rajput men who died in a clash last year also met the chief minister at the circuit house in Sector 16, Faridabad. They told the CM that they too need financial help.
Members of the Rajput community also told CM that they were being harassed in the name of the probe into the case.
“The CM told them that the CBI will investigate the entire issue and reality will come out,” said MLA, Prithla, Tek Chand Sharma.
Meanwhile, a local court sent the six arrested accused in two days’ police custody. Besides, a minor arrested in the case has been send to a juvenile home.