Outraged over the death of a physically challenged teenager and her father in arson on Wednesday, the Balmiki (Dalit) community refused to cremate the bodies, which arrived on Thursday at Mirchpur village in Haryana’s Hisar district after the post-mortem examinations.
The Dalit community of the village said the last rites would not be performed unless local officials guilty of failing to prevent the violence were suspended and a compensation of Rs 25 lakh was paid for each of the dead.
Suman (18) and her father Tara Chand had died of burns after their house was set on fire along with around 20 others during a clash between Jats and Balmikis in the village. The Balmikis said they would retain the bodies till their demands were met. Besides the compensation, they wanted the SHO, DSP and tehsildar suspended and a Central police force deployed in the village.
The police have registered a case of arson and murder against 200 responsible for the attack on the Balmikis. Thirty have been taken into custody.
Some Balmiki families have left the village, fearing more attacks. Pramod Bagri, president of the Hisar Balmiki Sangh, threatened a shutdown in Hisar if the demands of the Dalits were not met within 24 hours. He said the clash could have been averted if the police had acted in time. BSP leader Man Singh Manhera also visited the village and criticised the police for their alleged inaction.