Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday visited the family members of Jitender, whose children were burnt to death when his house was set on fire in the early hours of Tuesday in Faridabad district’s Sunpedh village .
Khattar spent about 15 minutes with the family; the gates of the Dalit family’s house remained firmly shut for ‘outsiders’ during the visit.
The chief minister was expected to meet the family on Wednesday but his visit was cancelled in the wake of protests by angry locals, who had blocked the Faridabad highway.
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Khattar also handed over a cheque of Rs 10 lakh as compensation to the grieving family.
Speaking to mediapersons later, he claimed that efforts were being made to “politicise” the incident. “We want the investigation to be conducted properly. But with great regret, I have to say that some parties are trying to politicise this incident… “ he said.
“We have agreed to the family’s demand for a CBI probe. If there is any laxity on the part of the police, they will not be spared either,” said Khattar.
The chief minister also claimed that the incident was not the result of a “caste-related dispute”. “This is not a caste-related dispute but appears to be the fallout of a long-standing family feud,” he said.
“I have been monitoring this case since the beginning… when allegations came up against police officials, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was formed. Later, the case was handed over to the CBI as relatives of the victim demanded that,” he said.
“The family has so far named 11 persons as perpetrators of the attack, of which seven have been arrested. On the the basis of their complaint, seven police officials have also been suspended,” said Khattar.
However, members of both the Dalit and Rajput communities protested against Khattar’s visit and raised slogans, claiming that he had “no time” to listen to their demands.
Later, the chief minister met family members of the accused, at a circuit house located on the outskirts of the village. He also met the wives of three persons who were allegedly killed last year by relatives of Jitender.
“No innocent will be targeted,” he assured them, adding that the CBI probe will reveal the truth.
Nearly 500 policemen are still deployed in the village to ensure law and order. “Apart from Ballabhgarh, personnel were also called in from as far away as Gurgaon and Ambala,” said Police Commissioner Subhash Yadav.