Rahul in Sunped village, Haryana
Rahul Gandhi meeting family members of the victims in Sunped village, Ballabhgarh (Faridabad).inc.in

The Dalit community in Sunpedh village of Haryana's Faridabad district has united to protest against the atrocities by the upper caste communities. Some upper caste Thakurs had set fire to the house of a Dalit family on Tuesday, leading to the death of two children and causing serious burn injuries to their father Jitender and his wife.  

About 60 Dalit families gathered outside Jitender's house on Wednesday, when the bodies of the couple's two children were brought home. The Dalits, particularly youths, have decided to avenge the killing of two innocent children – two-and-a-half-year-old Vaibhav and nine-month-old Divya, Hindustan Times reported.

Meanwhile, the state government has said that it would hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

In Sunpedh, Dalits – who have always been disregarded and mistreated by the upper rung of the society – have now decided to fight for their rights and dignity.

"When there is a function at a Thakur's house and we are invited there is always a separate food tent for us. Such is the discrimination. They live in tall buildings and harass our women from their terrace," a youth said.

"There are about 60 Dalit families here and everyone has come together. It is time for us to speak out. We have shown our strength now," another Dalit man Ram Singh said.

'It's war between two families, not castes'

Many Thakur families decided to stay locked inside their homes, one of the Thakurs who chose to speak to the media said that the incident is a result of a war between two families -- a Dalit and a Rajput – while agreeing to the fact that the upper caste in Sunpedh treat the Dalits differently.

"Yes the caste divide is clear, as has been since we lived here. But this is a case of two families who have fought for years because of their egos. But everyone has forgotten the history of these families. It is suddenly a caste war now," a Thakur said.

Like the Dadri lynching, immolation of the Dalit family also attracted politicians, including Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Yogendra Yadav, who arrived at the village on Wednesday to visit Jitender.

As the 'fire' set by the Rajput family refuses to be exinguished, the state police department deployed over 100 cops in the village to maintain peace. The Faridabad Police have so far arrested seven people in connection with the incident.

Eight police personnel have been suspended "showing grave misconduct in discharging their duties and regular departmental inquiry has been initiated against them," The Indian Express reported.

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