Caste distinction still thrives, divides communities in Sunped
The by-lanes of Sunped village of Faridabad district will never be the same after the recent inter-caste violence that took the lives of two innocent Dalit children. The houses in the village bear a picture of the clear distinction between the Dalits—with half built and unpainted houses and the houses of the upper caste Rajputs and Thakurs who have duplexes with elevated verandas.
The Sunped village that woke up to an attack on a Dalit house, burning alive two kids to death disrupting communal harmony, is marked with clear diversions and different roads for the SCs and the upper caste Rajputs and Thakurs.
Sunped village with a total population of 6,000 people is divided between 300 Rajput community families and 100 Dalit families. The Dalits in the village comprise Jatavas, Valmikis and Bhabarias (nomads). These communities live in separate chunks and do not trespass into the areas marked for the Rajputs and Thakurs. “The division between the upper caste Rajputs and Dalits are quite prominent. Dalits do not enter into the upper caste Rajput’s area and vice-versa”, Sarpanch Jal Singh told Millennium Post. The division became more prominent after the 2014 attack on a Rajput family. The Rajputs allegedly accused Jitender (father of the two kids) of attacking and killing three members of Balwant’s, a Rajput family.
After the 2014 incident, the gap between the Dalits and Rajputs widened. The Rajputs who had their houses in the same lane as the Dalits, locked their front doors and started using their back doors to avoid any confrontation or contact with the Dalits. However, on asking the local administration about the tensed situation in the village, it came out that the feud was always between the two families and not the communities. According to the statement given by Jitender, he had named 11 accused (all belonging to Balwant’s family) out of which seven have been arrested till date. All the seven accused have been booked and arrested on charges of murder, mischief by fire with intend to destroy the house and rioting among other sections of the IPC and sections of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act). One of the accused is known to be a 16-year-old juvenile, who was produced in front of the local magistrate and sent to a local juvenile home centre in Faridabad. According to the data received from the Ballabgarh Sadar police station, there have been a number of cases under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act). The year wise data shows- 4 cases in 2010, 3 in 2011, none in 2012, one in 2013, none in 2014 and 3 in 2015.
It was also observed that there was a relaxation in the platoon that was provided by Haryana’s Rapid Action Force (RAF) on Friday to maintain law and order in Sunped village. The deployment from the village was withdrawn by 200 personnels.