Tag Archives: Sunped

Why ensuring dalit human rights is still a tough task in the 21 st century

‘Sunped in Haryana and Natham in Tamil Nadu, separated from each other by hundreds of kilometers, populated by communities speaking different languages and cultures, find themselves connected because of this ‘Unity in Diversity’ of a different kind; being witness to atrocities on Dalits in very many ways.’

Representational image. | Image Courtesy: Wall Street Journal

“The Smallest Coffins are the Heaviest”.

Sunped, a small village in Faridabad, Haryana, hit the national headlines recently once again, when a CBI court gave its verdict in case of the deaths of two Dalit children.

If memory does not fail you, one would recall that this village had witnessed the deaths of two children – two and a half year-old Vaibhav and ten-month-old Divya – who were burned alive and their parents Rekha and Jitender suffering burn injuries half a decade ago. 

These deaths in a village which had a background of simmering conflict between dominant castes and Dalits, despite police protection provided to the ill-fated family, had caused  tremendous uproar at the national level. Rallies and marches were held in different parts of the state and in the rest of India as well, demanding justice for the family. A callous statement by a Union Cabinet Minister about the incident where he argued that the government cannot be held responsible if “someone throws stones at a dog” had then added further fuel to the fire.

Perhaps to douse popular anger, the state government led by Manohar Lal Khattar had ordered a CBI enquiry into the case. It also took into custody eleven members of the dominant caste (namely Rajputs) from Sunped for their alleged involvement in these killings, based on a complaint by the victims.  

The verdict by the CBI court in the case has landed the struggle for justice in this particular case into a black hole. 

( Read the full article here)

What the Sunped Atrocity Tells Us About Caste in Haryana: Tanvi Ahuja

Guest Post by Tanvi Ahuja

The recent Dalit atrocity in Sunped, Ballabgarh is a stark reminder of how caste continues to shape our society and our very existence and dignity. Yes, it was an atrocity and any attempts to hide the same in the garb of personal dispute or family feud are not only misleading but a great disservice to the lived experiences of Dalits in this country.

Sunped is just another Jat- dominated village in the caste underbelly of the state of Haryana, famous for the Mirchpur atrocity that saw a 70- year old Dalit and his daughter burnt alive in 2010. Jitender’s is one of the approximately 80 Dalit families in Sunped, comprising the Chamaars and Balmikis. His immediate family and relatives are an educated lot; many of them employed in stable private sector jobs. The family also has a strong political lineage- Jitender’s grandfather and brother, Jagmal have held the office of Sarpanch in the last two decades, except in 2005-10 when the wife of the main accused Balwant became the Sarpanch on the reserved seat for women. It was Balwant however who called the shots throughout his wife’s term. Continue reading What the Sunped Atrocity Tells Us About Caste in Haryana: Tanvi Ahuja