Leaders visit Una victims, slam Gujarat govt.

Sharad Yadav, D. Raja and Brinda Karat question lack of protection for Dalits

Updated - October 18, 2016 02:47 pm IST

Published - July 23, 2016 10:48 pm IST - AHMEDABAD:

Congress workers protest in Amritsar on Saturday against the atrocities on Dalits.— Photo: AFP

Congress workers protest in Amritsar on Saturday against the atrocities on Dalits.— Photo: AFP

A stream of national leaders from various parties, who visited the Dalit victims of Una on Saturday, , severely criticised the Gujarat government for allowing cow vigilante groups to terrorise Dalits engaged in skinning of dead animals.

The political visitors included Sharad Yadav of the JD(U), Rajya Sabha member D. Raja, a CPI(M) delegation led by Brinda Karat and Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien.

“The Gujarat government has completely failed to protect Dalits and other weaker sections of society,” said Sharad Yadav. He and CPI parliamentarian Mr. Raja demanded a detailed probe into the incident when four Dalit youth were publicly flogged by members of a cow protection group on July 11, and said the victims and their families must adequately be compensated by the State.

“The victims narrated their plight to us and it is absolutely horrific,” Mr. Raja told The Hindu .

Slamming the cow vigilante groups that have flourished in the State, Ms. Karat demanded an immediate ban on them, who, she said, are systematically targeting Dalits and minorities.

“When we met the family members of the victims, they told us that harassment by members of gau samitis have become routine and the police also cannot act against such groups because they are patronised by top leaders of RSS and BJP,” Ms Karat said, questioning the “deafening silence” of Prime Minister Modi, who has not spoken on the issue that has become a national debate and paralysed the Rajya Sabha for two days.

‘PM’s silence deafening’ “While Dalits are protesting and attempting suicide out of anguish causing national outrage, the Prime Minister’s deafening silence shows his support to the criminal activities of the so callled gau raksha samitis ,” she told the mediapersons. She was accompanied by CPI(M) parliamentarian P.K. Biju from Kerala.

Ms. Karat also slammed the BJP leaders who accused the national parties of politicising the issue. “We have come here to express our solidarity to the victims, who have no voice in the Gujarat dispensation.”

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