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EFI NEWS – An initiative of the Evangelical Fellowship of India

Press Release

New Delhi , September 1 – The Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) condemns the burning down of houses belonging to hapless Dalits at Valmiki Basti (Dalit hamlet) in Gohana sub-division of Sonepat district of the northern state of Haryana on August 31. According to the Hindu, a national daily, the perpetrators set on fire as many as 35 houses belonging to marginalized Dalits allegedly to protest against the murder of a Jat which compelled over 1,000 Dalits to flee for their safety. The attack was perpetrated by people belonging to the so-called higher caste Jat community, who also happen to be politically powerful, as the brother and two sons of a local leader of the Bhartiya Janata Party, Kishen Singh Sangwan, are among the accused, according to the Hindustan Times newspaper. The incident reveals that in the midst of the glorious economic boom in modern India there also exists shameful medieval practice of inhuman treatment of those who fall outside the unjustifiable caste system. And those who fall in this unfortunate category are 250 million in number, who continue to live on the margins of society. In addition, the incident brings to light a highly disturbing trend, wherein innocent people are attacked just because they belong to a particular community, as a revenge for the alleged act of an individual or a group. The killing of Sikhs in 1984 in Delhi and that of Muslims in 2002 in Gujarat are two such examples. The EFI urges the Haryana government to ensure that the August 31 is the last straw and that the perpetrators of this crime will be dealt with as strictly as possible.