As attack over the incident of a Dalit family’s burning mounted, North Indian state Haryana’s Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday asserted that those responsible for the crime would not be spared and insisted that steps have been taken to ensure security of the community in the state.
He also rejected the allegation that a 15-year-old Dalit boy in Sonipat had died in police custody, saying he had committed suicide. He announced a job and compensation to the family of the boy whose death has triggered protests on Friday.
Khattar deplored attempts to give casteist colour to "individual incidents" as he insisted that there was no problem with law and order, rejecting the opposition charge in this regard.
His comments came as parties like Congress and BSP mounted attack on his government, saying it was "insensitive" towards Dalits and an "anti-Dalit mindset" prevailed in Haryana.
"Yes, small incidents do take place and it is always government’s intention not to let such incidents happen again and if it takes place, efforts are made to nab the culprit and ensure suitable action," the Chief Minister said addressing a press conference here.
With regard to the burning of Dalit family in Sunped, Faridabad, in which two toddlers were killed, triggering a massive uproar, he said, "Whosoever is responsible will not be spared and strict action will be taken."
Noting that the state government has handed over the probe to CBI, he said, "we cannot take any bigger step at present."
Khattar, who visited the victim’s family yesterday, said, "It started when three murders took place one year back and then police acted in the matter and security arrangements were made. But suddenly, a house catches fire."
Meanwhile, the father of the two Dalit children who were burnt alive has been hospitalised over some "health issues".
On the death of the Dalit boy in Sonipat, Khattar said, "The post mortem report will throw light on why the suicide took place and for what reasons."
The victim’s family has alleged that he was beaten up by police and died in custody after being accused of pigeon theft.
Khattar said the boy’s family was involved in a dispute with another family over some money and pigeon.
"As per information, two families Gadia Lohar and Dhanik had some dispute over the issue of some money and pigeon.
There was a dispute of Rs 6,000. Their matter was resolved in police station where two persons mutually decided to equally contribute the money. However, one family gave its share and other has not given," the Chief Minister said.
Khattar insisted that the minor boy was not questioned by the police. "There was no questioning (of minor boy). He himself went to the police station. One family went with the complaint where matter was resolved. After the matter was resolved, they went to their house and during night suicide took place, as per unofficial information," he said.