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A teen-aged Dalit girl, who was allegedly gang-raped by eight upper caste youths near this Haryana town earlier this month, has been provided police protection, while a hunt is still on for six of her attackers who are on the run, officials said Tuesday.

Haryana Police have already arrested two youths and have constituted eight teams to nab the other six accused of the gang-rape.

“We have deployed police force in the victim’s village and provided security to her,” said Hisar district police chief Satheesh P. Balan.

The move to provide security to the girl follows building-up of tension between the Dalits and other communities.

The girl, aged 16 and resident of a village near here, was kidnapped by the youths from near the urban estate here Sep 9 and taken to the outskirts of this town, 250 km from Chandigarh.

She was allegedly raped by all of them and four of the accused even recorded the crime on their mobile phones. The attackers later circulated the MMS clip.

The girl’s father committed suicide Sep 18 after he came to know that his daughter had been gang-raped and that her MMS was being circulated.

The Dalit family refused to take his body from the Hisar hospital mortuary till the attackers, known to be influential in the area, were arrested. Police finally arrested two of them – on Saturday and Monday. Only after the arrests, did the family take the man’s body and cremated it.

“We came to know about the incident when she stopped eating. She did not speak about it for about 10 days. Her father consumed something poisonous and died after hearing about it,” said the girl’s distraught mother.

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes has also decided to probe the incident.

“Though there are Jat youths among the gang-rape accused, some belong to other communities also,” a senior police officer said.

The state government has announced financial help of Rs.6.2 lakh to the gang-rape victim and a government job to a member of the family, said Deputy Commissioner Amit Aggarwal.

Hisar has seen violence in the past too between the Dalit community and upper castes, especially the politically dominant Jats.

Jat community members had set many houses of the Dalit community on fire in Mirchpur village in this district in April 2010. A Dalit man and his physically challenged daughter were burnt alive in their house in the violence.

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