1235137Not Government's Fault If One Stones a Dog: VK Singh on Dalit Children's Killings

File photo of Minister of State for External Affairs Gen VK Singh.

NEW DELHI The government cannot be held responsible for the murder of the two Dalit children in Haryana, Union Minister VK Singh said today. And in an afterthought that is expected to land him in controversy, added, “If someone throws stones at a dog, the government is not responsible”.

Asked if the government has failed in view of the Monday’s killings on the sidelines of an event in Ghaziabad, Mr Singh said, “Don’t connect the government with it. It was a feud between two families, the matter is under inquiry.”

The administration failed there, the minister said, then added the controversial comment. Haryana is ruled by the BJP, Mr Singh’s party.

The children — two-and-a-half year old Vaibhav and 11-month-old Divya – had died after their house was set on fire, allegedly by members of an upper caste community at a village in Haryana near Delhi, on Monday. Their father — who sustained burn injuries to save them — said petrol was poured through the window and the house was set on fire.

While Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar put off his to Sonped yesterday in view of the escalating protests in the area, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had met the family and launched a scathing attack on Mr Khattar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and their party, the BJP.

“This is an attitude shared by Prime Minister, the Chief Minister, the BJP and the RSS — If somebody is weak, they can be crushed. What you are seeing is the result of this attitude,” he said. “They are weak and poor, that is why they are being treated like this. This is not the government of the weak.”

Under attack from the opposition, the Haryana government has asked for an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the deaths. Seven people have been arrested in the case so far.

The children were cremated on Wednesday evening, after daylong protests by the locals and the blockade of a national highway.