A baby and a toddler have died in a house fire allegedly set by their family's upper caste neighbors near the Indian capital.

In protest, residents placed the bodies of the children on a key highway in Faridabad near Delhi on Wednesday and demanded the arrest of the attackers.

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

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

Caste discrimination is outlawed but persists in Indian society. Disputes between different castes are a common cause of violence.