Bhopal, Mar 8 (UNI) Union Minister of State for Urban Employment and Poverty Alleviation Shailja today condemned the burning alive of two young dalits in Madhya Pradesh's Jabalpur and Sagar districts.
''The guilty should be awarded the harshest punishment. The state government should take stern steps. Such incidents ought to be universally condemned,'' she told journalists here after taking part in a Women's Empowerment Conference on the occasion of International Women's Day.
State Congress election campaign committee head and former minister Ajay Singh told reporters that the incidents were shameful.
The Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee appointed observers to inquire into the incidents.
''District Congress President (Rural) Vishnu Shankar Patel will probe the Jabalpur incident while Surkhi's legislator Govind Singh Rajput and former Congress state Vice-President Arunoday Choubey will inquire into the Sagar incident,'' said a Congress release issued here on March 6.
Sagar's Shahgarh-resident Vineeta (18) was teased by Jaggi, Kallu, Manoj and Prajapati on the afternoon of March 3. When she protested, the foursome doused her with kerosene and set it alight.
The victim was admitted to the district hospital and succumbed yesterday. Two persons were taken into custody for questioning.
Six people were arrested on March 3 for burning alive a 17-year-old at Jabalpur's Sihora after she resisted a sexual assault.
Sihora-resident Pooja Chaudhry was returning home from a market on Sunday when Ameerchand Vanshkar and another person grabbed her, took her to their home and attempted a sexual assault. Pooja escaped their clutches, reached home and reported the matter to relatives who reached Vanshkar's residence and thrashed Dulichand.
Sometime later, Vanshkar, Dulichand and six others reached Pooja's home, doused her with kerosene and set it alight. She died on the spot. Two of the accused were absconding.
UNI Team-AC 1730