Criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “deafening silence” over the issue of public thrashing of Dalits in a Gujarat village, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat on Saturday said this shows his “support to criminal activities” of cow protection committees.
Ms. Karat and CPI(M) MP P.K. Biju are in Gujarat to meet the victims of atrocities on Dalits and their family members at Mota Samadhiyala village under Una tehsil of Gir-Somnath district.
A group of Dalit youths from the village were paraded and flogged last week for allegedly skinning a dead cow.
The July 11 assault, allegedly involving members of gau raksha samitis, caused a groundswell of outrage and triggered a spate of suicide attempts by Dalits in other parts of Gujarat as a mark of protest.
Speaking to reporters at Rajkot airport where she arrived this morning, Karat said she is not politicising the issue and her visit is aimed at expressing solidarity with the victims.
“While Dalits are immolating themselves out of anguish and protest and there is a national outrage, the Prime Minister’s deafening silence shows his support to the criminal activities of the so-called gau raksha samitis,” she said.
“We are here not to politicise the issue but to express our solidarity with the Dalits of Mota Samadhiyala village,” Ms. Karat said.
After returning from the village, the two leaders will meet the victims as well Dalit youths who attempted suicide during a protest and are being treated here.
Mr. Biju said the condition of Dalits has deteriorated in Gujarat in the last 15 years of BJP rule. “It is a matter of great concern for all,” he said.