Manohar Lal Khattar meets victims’ family

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday met the family of two Dalit children burnt alive by upper caste men two days ago and said political or casteist colour should not be given to the case, in which police has nabbed seven accused while 4 were still absconding. Khattar, who had put off his visit to Sunped village yesterday amid protests by Dalits, also met the relatives of the accused and a delegation from Rajput community which alleged that innocents were framed in the matter. A police team led by an official of ACP rank, which visited the village in the evening, was gheraoed by locals who alleged that police was colluding with upper caste men and tampering with evidence, a charge denied by the officials.

Meeting the victims’ father Jitender a day after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s visit, the Chief Minister, who handed over a cheque of Rs 10 lakh to the family, said, “We want that the investigation is done properly. “But with great regret I have to say that some parties are trying to politicise this incident…. It should not be given a political or casteist colour.” He said that the family’s demand of CBI probe has been met.

The Chief Minister’s remarks came on a day the BJP came under increasing attack, with Congress terming it “anti-dalit” and “anti-poor” especially after controversial remarks by Union Minister VK Singh that “government cannot be held responsible if somebody stones a dog”.

Later, Khattar travelled to outskirts of the village and met the relatives of the accused at a circuit house. He had a ten-minute meeting with wives of three persons who were allegedly killed last year by relatives of Jitender in a spiralling feud between the two families. Speaking to the Rajput delegation, Khattar said the truth will come out after the CBI probe and the “guilty will not be spared”. “No innocent will be targeted,” he assured them.

Three more accused were held last night for the killing of two children, Commissioner of Police Subhash Yadav said, adding seven persons out of total of 11 accused named by the family have been arrested. “We are hopeful of nabbing other culprits soon,” he said, adding the situation in the village was peaceful now.

A police official identified two of those arrested last night as Aman and Sooraj. “Aman’s father was one of the three men who were allegedly murdered by Jitender’s relatives a year ago,” the official said. A forensic team visited the burnt house of Jitender, and collected evidence.