Baby, toddler die in alleged caste attack on Indian family

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Baby, toddler die in alleged caste attack on Indian family
Relatives carry the bodies of a baby and a toddler killed in a house fire allegedly set by their family's upper caste neighbors, as angry residents block a highway in Faridabad near New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Oct.21, 2015. The 2½-year-old and 9-month old were sleeping when the attackers poured gasoline and set the fire in Sunpedh village Monday night. The residents blocked the key highway near the Indian capital to demand the attackers be arrested.(AP Photo/ Vijay Kumar)
Residents sit near the bodies of a baby and a toddler killed in a house fire allegedly set by their family's upper caste neighbors, as they block a highway in Faridabad near New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Oct.21, 2015. The 2½-year-old and 9-month old were sleeping when the attackers poured gasoline and set the fire in Sunpedh village Monday night. The residents blocked the key highway near the Indian capital to demand the attackers be arrested.(AP Photo/ Vijay Kumar)
Police remove blockade after angry residents blocked a highway in Faridabad near New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Oct.21, 2015. Angry residents blocked the key highway near the Indian capital after a baby and a toddler were killed in a house fire allegedly set by their family's upper caste neighbors. (AP Photo/ Vijay Kumar)
Relatives try to console Indian man Jitender, whose two children were killed in a house fire allegedly set by their family's upper caste neighbors, in Faridabad near New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Oct.21, 2015. The 2½-year-old and 9-month old were sleeping when the attackers poured gasoline and set the fire in Sunpedh village Monday night. Jitender was injured as he tried to break down the locked door of the house. The residents blocked the key highway near the Indian capital to demand the attackers be arrested.(AP Photo/ Vijay Kumar)
In this Tuesday, Oct.20, 2015 photograph, an Indian policeman inspects the site after a baby and a toddler were killed in a house fire allegedly set by their family's upper caste neighbors, at Sunpedh village in Faridabad near New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Oct.21, 2015. The 2½-year-old and 9-month old were sleeping when the attackers poured gasoline and set the fire in Sunpedh village Monday night. The residents blocked the key highway near the Indian capital to demand the attackers be arrested.(AP Photo/ Vijay Kumar)
India's opposition Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi, right, visits Jitender, bottom left,whose two children were killed in a house fire allegedly set by their family's upper caste neighbors, in Faridabad near New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Oct.21, 2015. Jitender's 2½-year-old and 9-month old children were sleeping when the attackers poured gasoline and set the fire in Sunpedh village Monday night. He was injured as he tried to break down the locked door of the house. The residents blocked the key highway near the Indian capital to demand the attackers be arrested.(AP Photo/ Vijay Kumar)
FARIDABAD, INDIA - OCTOBER 21: Viilagers of Sunpedh village blocked the Faridabad-Ballabhgarh highway, as they were demanding the arrest of the perpetrators where two kids of a Dalit family were allegedly burnt alive by upper-caste Rajputs, on October 21, 2015 in Faridabad, India. As two-and-a-half-years-old Vaibhav and 11-month-old Divya were killed in Faridabad's Sumped village after their house was set on fire allegedly by some upper caste men. Their mother Rekha, 28, is fighting for life with 70 per cent burns. Their father has sustained injuries too. The family has alleged that the attack was the fallout of a long-standing feud with a group of upper caste people in the village. According to the sources Thakur community set the house on fire around 3 am by pouring petrol through an open window while the family was asleep. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
FARIDABAD, INDIA - OCTOBER 21: Family members mourn as two kids of their family were allegedly burnt alive by upper-caste Rajputs on October 21, 2015 in Faridabad, India. Viilagers of Sunpedh village blocked the Faridabad-Ballabhgarh highway, as they were demanding the arrest of the perpetrators where two kids of a Dalit family were allegedly burnt alive by upper-caste Rajputs. As two-and-a-half-years-old Vaibhav and 11-month-old Divya were killed in Faridabad's Sumped village after their house was set on fire allegedly by some upper caste men. Their mother Rekha, 28, is fighting for life with 70 per cent burns. Their father has sustained injuries too. The family has alleged that the attack was the fallout of a long-standing feud with a group of upper caste people in the village. According to the sources Thakur community set the house on fire around 3 am by pouring petrol through an open window while the family was asleep. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
FARIDABAD, INDIA - OCTOBER 21: Viilagers of Sunpedh village blocked the Faridabad-Ballabhgarh highway, as they were demanding the arrest of the perpetrators where two kids of a Dalit family were allegedly burnt alive by upper-caste Rajputs, on October 21, 2015 in Faridabad, India. As two-and-a-half-years-old Vaibhav and 11-month-old Divya were killed in Faridabad's Sumped village after their house was set on fire allegedly by some upper caste men. Their mother Rekha, 28, is fighting for life with 70 per cent burns. Their father has sustained injuries too. The family has alleged that the attack was the fallout of a long-standing feud with a group of upper caste people in the village. According to the sources Thakur community set the house on fire around 3 am by pouring petrol through an open window while the family was asleep. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
FARIDABAD, INDIA - OCTOBER 21: Toys and dolls of the two kids lying inside the burnt room at a Sunpedh village on October 21, 2015 in Faridabad, India. Viilagers of Sunpedh village blocked the Faridabad-Ballabhgarh highway, as they were demanding the arrest of the perpetrators where two kids of a Dalit family were allegedly burnt alive by upper-caste Rajputs. As two-and-a-half-years-old Vaibhav and 11-month-old Divya were killed in Faridabad's Sumped village after their house was set on fire allegedly by some upper caste men. Their mother Rekha, 28, is fighting for life with 70 per cent burns. Their father has sustained injuries too. The family has alleged that the attack was the fallout of a long-standing feud with a group of upper caste people in the village. According to the sources Thakur community set the house on fire around 3 am by pouring petrol through an open window while the family was asleep. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Indian social activists protest after the killing of children in an arson attack, in New Delhi on October 21, 2015. A nine-month-old boy and his toddler sister from a low-caste community were burnt alive in an arson attack on October 20 on their home in India which also badly injured  their parents, police said. AFP PHOTO / SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
FARIDABAD, INDIA - OCTOBER 21: (EDITORS NOTE: Image depicts death) Family members and villagers with dead body of two kids, as they were burnt to death by upper-caste Rajputs at Sunpedh village on October 21, 2015 in Faridabad, India. Viilagers of Sunpedh village blocked the Faridabad-Ballabhgarh highway, as they were demanding the arrest of the perpetrators where two kids of a Dalit family were allegedly burnt alive by upper-caste Rajputs. As two-and-a-half-years-old Vaibhav and 11-month-old Divya were killed in Faridabad's Sumped village after their house was set on fire allegedly by some upper caste men. Their mother Rekha, 28, is fighting for life with 70 per cent burns. Their father has sustained injuries too. The family has alleged that the attack was the fallout of a long-standing feud with a group of upper caste people in the village. According to the sources Thakur community set the house on fire around 3 am by pouring petrol through an open window while the family was asleep. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Indian social activists protest after the killing of children in an arson attack, in New Delhi on October 21, 2015. A nine-month-old boy and his toddler sister from a low-caste community were burnt alive in an arson attack on October 20 on their home in India which also badly injured  their parents, police said. AFP PHOTO / SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
An Indian social activist adjusts a banner for a protest over the killing of children in an arson attack, in New Delhi on October 21, 2015. A nine-month-old boy and his toddler sister from a low-caste community were burnt alive in an arson attack on October 20 on their home in India which also badly injured  their parents, police said. AFP PHOTO / SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
Indian social activists protest after the killing of children in an arson attack, in New Delhi on October 21, 2015. A nine-month-old boy and his toddler sister from a low-caste community were burnt alive in an arson attack on October 20 on their home in India which also badly injured  their parents, police said. AFP PHOTO / SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
Indian social activists protest after the killing of children in an arson attack, in New Delhi on October 21, 2015. A nine-month-old boy and his toddler sister from a low-caste community were burnt alive in an arson attack on October 20 on their home in India which also badly injured  their parents, police said. AFP PHOTO / SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
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NEW DELHI (AP) — A baby and a toddler were killed in a house fire allegedly set by their family's upper caste neighbors, and hundreds of angry residents placed the children's bodies on a key highway near the Indian capital to demand the attackers be arrested.

The 2½-year-old and 9-month old were sleeping when the attackers poured gasoline and set the fire in Sunpedh village Monday night. The children died while their mother was in critical condition, police said.

The father was injured as he tried to break down the locked door of the house.

Federal Home Minister Rajnath Singh described the attack as "very unfortunate and condemnable." He spoke to the chief minister of Haryana state where the village is located, to ask for immediate steps to restore calm.

Police said there was long-standing enmity between the castes since three upper caste men were killed last year.

Caste discrimination was outlawed soon after India's independence from Britain in 1947 but persists in Indian society. Disputes between different castes are a common cause of violence.

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