New Delhi, August 21
Attacking the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress today said he has time to think about people of Balochistan but cannot meet the dalit victims of “atrocities” in his home state Gujarat even as it demanded time-bound and concrete action against perpetrators. A delegation of Gujarat Congress comprising PCC Chief Bharatsinh Solanki, Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Congress President, Congress Legislative Party leader Shankar Sinh Vaghela, AICC General Secretary Madhusudan Mistry met President Pranab Mukherjee, requesting his intervention in the matter through Governor of the state.
Claiming that the law and order situation Gujarat has “collapsed”, the party also accused the BJP govt there of not doing anything despite the attacks on dalits, Patidars, adivasis and minorities. The delegation said the communities particularly dalits were facing atrocities which is “inhuman and barbarous” and didn’t take place took place even during the “British Rule”.”The Prime Minister thinks about people of Balochistan, but when dalits are being persecuted in his home state… The Patidars, minorities and adivasis are being harassed and he doesn’t even get the time to meet the victims,” Solanki said. It said changing the Chief Minister was only a face-saving exercise by BJP and a strong action against perpetrators is needed. “The state government is not doing anything. The law and order has collapsed in the state. All sections are tired and the BJP government is trying to save its face,” Solanki claimed. The delegation, in its memorandum, claimed that total number of atrocity cases against dalits stand at 14,613 over the last 13 years of BJP rule in the state. The leaders also demanded that the real mastermind of the Una incident, where dalit youths were assaulted for skinning a dead cow, be arrested and charge-sheet be filed in 30 days.
It also demanded setting up of special courts to fast track over 500 pending cases of violence against dalits and appoint special public prosecutors in all cases pertaining to atrocities in dalits.
Solanki also took a dig at Modi’s emotional statement against dalit atrocities that “if you want to shoot dalits, then shoot me”, saying the PM is well protected but dalits are not. “He roams around with SPG security commandos and then says if you want to shoot dalits…. Modi was the CM at the time when three dalits were killed in Thangadh. And he had not acted against the guilty then,” the Congress leader alleged. “The way the Una incident came to light and dalit youth were brutally beaten up, a video was shot and made viral by the supporters of the BJP…,” Solanki said after his meeting with the President. Referring to the Thangadh incident of 2012, in which three Dalit youths were killed when police opened fire to disperse a violent mob, the party demanded that the investigation report submitted by Secretary, State Social Justice Rights department must be disclosed.
The memorandum said in the Una incident, only four police officers have been put on temporary suspension.
“As per law, criminal proceeding should have been initiated against the police who didn’t react to the violence that was occurring outside their police station,” the memorandum said.
The delegation also demanded that cases of atrocities which are not investigated by a deputy superintendent and have been dismissed by the court should be re-investigated
Solanki said the Thangadh incident took place when Modi was the Chief Minister and accused him of “letting off the culprits”.
The memorandum said some 1,589 villages were still found to be practicing untouchability there.
New Delhi, August 21