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    Published On : Wed, Oct 21st, 2015
    National News | By Nagpur Today Nagpur News

    Rahul Gandhi visits Sonped village, consoles bereaved family

    • Citizens blocked Faridabad-Delhi highway in protest, demanding arrest of all 11 accused
    • So fare only 3 accused have been arrested

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    Faridabad/ Nagpur: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi reached Sonped around noon on Wednesday and met the bereaved Dalit family whose dwelling was torched on early morning of Monday. Later in the day, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is also likely to visit them. Haryana is governed by the BJP, which also leads the ruling coalition at the Centre, said the media reports.

    Residents of Sonped village in Ballabhgarh area of Faridabad in Haryana staged protest against two small Dalit children’s death. Protesting against the death of two young Dalit children who were burnt alive while they were asleep, residents of the village in Haryana blocked a highway near Delhi today and demanded that all the accused be arrested at the earliest. The children, aged two-and-a-half years and 11 months, died after their house in Sonped on the outskirts of Delhi was torched on Monday, allegedly by members of an upper caste community.

    Here are the 10 latest developments in this case:
    Locals have blocked the Faridabad-Ballabhgarh highway right outside the village. They want all the 11 accused in the case to be arrested. Only 3 arrests have been made so far. The children’s family has said they will not perform their last rites till all the accused are punished.

    Eight policemen who were part of a team deployed for the security of Dalits in the village about a year ago after a similar attack have been suspended.

    The children’s father has alleged that around about 2 am on Monday, their house in Faridabad district’s Sonped village was attacked by some members of the Thakur community with whom they had a long-running quarrel.

    “We were sleeping when they poured petrol through the window. I smelt the petrol and tried to wake my wife but by then the fire had started. My children died in the fire,” said Jitender, 31, who was injured in the attack.

    His wife Rekha, 28, is in a hospital in Delhi with 70 per cent burns. His two-and-a-half year old son Vaibhav and daughter Divya, 11 months old, died in the fire. Post-mortem of both the children were conducted at a Delhi hospital today. Their bodies were later handed over to the family.

    11 people, including a father-son duo, have been booked in the case. The village, which is dominated by Thakurs and has only a few Dalit families, is tense and security has been tightened, the police said.

    According to Jitender’s brother Shiv Kumar, last year in October, three people from the Thakur community were killed in a scuffle that broke out between the two communities over allegations of a stolen cellphone and their relative Dalbir was sent to jail. Two months later, Jitender’s family was allegedly attacked and their home was burnt down.
    “But they were not home and only their cattle was killed. Since then, constables were assigned to guard Jitender and his family,” Shiv Kumar said.

    Yesterday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh called up Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and asked him to ensure the safety of Dalit families. A compensation of Rs. 10 lakh has been announced for the family by the Haryana government.

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