Members of a Dalit family have been reportedly set afire by their neighbours in Katihar, Bihar. According to reports, their thatched house was set on fire by locals while the family slept. 2 little girls died in the fire while their parents are in critical condition.
The incident reportedly occurred in the Gordah village under Azamnagar police station in Katihar district in Bihar on the night of 10th June. The Dalit person named Bajjan Das reportedly ran a tea stall on a piece of government-owned plot. The family lived in a thatched house nearby. According to reports, some of their neighbours were pressurising them to vacate the area so they could use it themselves. The Dalit couple has been refusing to move from the area.
On Sunday night, some of the neighbours reportedly locked the house from outside, poured petrol over the thatched house and set it on fire while the Dalit family slept inside. The couple’s two young children died in the fire while Bajjan and his wife are critical and struggling for their lives in a Katihar hospital. 2 of the neighbours, Abdul Rehman and his wife have been arrested by the local police for the crime. Other accused are absconding.
Katihar SP Vikas Kumar has been reportedly camping in Azamnagar after the incident. He has told the media that other eight accused are absconding and the police are after them. He assured that the critically injured couple are receiving medical care and the police will not spare the perpetrators.
Bajjan’s wife Manjula has stated that a neighbour named Muzlim had been threatening and harassing them to vacate the plot. Just a week ago he had threatened to kill them if they do not move from the plot.
Recently, several Dalit families were rendered homeless in Raghopur when suspected RJD supported goons set fire to their houses.