Two children of a Dalit family were burnt alive and their parents suffered injuries after some persons from upper caste allegedly set their house on fire while they were sleeping.
The shocking incident occurred at around 2.30 am on Tuesday at Sunped village on the outskirts of Delhi, police said, adding two persons have been arrested.
11 people, including a father-son duo, have been booked on murder, rioting and other charges, a police spokesperson said.
Vaibhav, who was two-and-a-half years old, and his sister, nine-month-old Divya, died after the attackers allegedly poured petrol from the window and set the house ablaze while the family was sleeping inside.
A religious programme was being held nearby in the village at that time. Their mother Rekha, 28, suffered serious burns and has been brought to Delhi for treatment while their father Jitender, 31, too suffered injuries while trying to save his family.
Officials in Delhi said home minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Haryana CM Khattar over the phone asking him to ensure security to everyone and prevent any recurrence of such incidents. The Union Home Ministry also sought a report from the state administration. Haryana government officials said the government has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh.
Jitender alleged that the attackers were Rajputs and the family had a confrontation with them over a murder in October after which a case had been registered.
We were sleeping when they poured petrol from the window. I smelt the petrol and tried to wake up my wife but by then the fire had started. They locked the door from outside. My children died in the fire. They had threatened that they will finish my family, that I should never return to the village. I won’t but please give me back my children.
Jitender, Father of the deceased
The incident has led to tension in the area and security has been tightened. Subhash Yadav, commissioner of police of Faridabad, is monitoring the situation.
A police spokesperson said Sunped resident Balwant and his son Dharm Singh are among the 11 persons booked under various sections for:
Murder - Section 302
Voluntarily causing hurt - Section 323
Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means - Section 324
Rioting, armed with a deadly weapon - Section148
Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object - Section 149
“Two persons have been arrested,” the police spokesman said. An SC/ST Commission team met the victims’ family and assured them that they will get justice.