Dalit families flee Haryana village, vow not to return
"I will rather die than return to the village," murmurs Kamla Devi, still in shock after her husband and physically challenged daughter were burnt alive in caste violence here on April 21.
Mirchpur: "I will rather die
than return to the village," murmurs Kamla Devi, still in
shock after her husband and physically challenged daughter
were burnt alive in caste violence here on April 21.
Devi, 45, along with her two sons, who are pursuing
graduation, has been camping at the district headquarters at
Hisar, about 60 km from here, along with nearly 30 dalit
families which fled the village after houses belonging to the
community were torched.
The affected families have been demanding
rehabilitation outside Mirchpur.
Devi`s polio-stricken daughter Suman and her aged
husband were trapped inside their burning house when about 18
dwellings were set ablaze allegedly by members of the dominant
community over old enmity.
"I have lost everything. No one can compensate my
loss," says the distraught woman about the monetary relief
announced by the Haryana Government to her family.
She wants the guilty to be punished. "They should be
given death penalty," she says.
BSP General Secretary Man Singh Manhera said that the
government`s assurance to the affected families, who have fled
the village, that they will be provided adequate security had
not been backed by any concrete steps.
"Assurances are merely on paper, but on the ground
there is fear psychosis among the dalit families who have been
left shaken by the gruesome incident. The burnt houses will
tell you the entire story," he said.
Krishna Duggal, President of Akhil Bhartiya Dhanak
Samaj, a dalit organisation, said that the administration was
merely providing lip service. No help was being provided to
the affected families, he claimed.
"All the 35-40 dalit families from Mirchpur have been
camping at Hisar in a temporary shelter after the incident.
No one has cared to come to them and listen to their problems.
In this sizzling heat, they are surviving on the food and
water being provided by the dalit organisations and some good
samaritan," Duggal said.
"Where were these authorities when the houses of
dalits were being burnt? Even after the incident, they are
doing nothing to help the victims," she said.
On Thursday, Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi
made a surprise visit to Mirchpur and met the affected
families. Congress President Sonia Gandhi also shot off a
letter to Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda telling him it
was a "matter of shame" and that such incidents cannot be
allowed to happen.