Union Home minister Rajnath Singh condemned the incident of public assault on Dalit men by cow vigilante group in Gujarat, apprising the Lok Sabha that even Prime Minister Modi is very hurt with the incident. Lok Sabha, which along with Rajya Sabha witnessed protest over the issue, saw Congress MPs staging a walkout as Rajnath Singh sought to turn the tables asserting that the cases of atrocities have come down under the incumbent BJP government.
Terming the incident “very unfortunate”, Union Home minister said he condemned it in strongest words. Calling crimes against Dalits a “social evil” he urged all parties to join hands to eradicate it.
“The Anandiben Patel government acted swiftly and arrested accused and provided treatment and compensation to the victims,” he said, adding that nine persons have been arrested.
Amid repeated disruptions by Congress MPs, Rajnath Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “very sad and hurt” after he came to know of the details of the incident on his return from foreign tour on July 12.
“The state government was planning to have a special court for the trial in the case… I congratulate the state government for its swift and effective action,” he said.
Prior to Rajnath’s statement, Congress and other opposition parties pitched protest against the incident. On their feet protesting, the members also resorted to slogans against the BJP government. The Congress party also targeted RSS – the ideological fountainhead of the ruling BJP.
“Violence is RSS agenda. RSS is trying for dalit-mukt Bharat. The government totally failed. It was a BJP-sponsored attack. What is going on? Is this Gujarat model,” Congress MP K Suresh said raising the issue at Zero Hour.
Called it an “emergency-like” situation in parts of the BJP-ruled state, he added that the victims have lost faith in the government.
Later in his reply, Rajnath Singh refuted with the charges “No government in India has done so much for the poor and dalits as the Modi government has,” referring to schemes like Jan Dhan and Start-Up India aimed at their financial inclusion.
Citing National Crime Records Bureau figures, he said they were over 32,000 in 2004, 38,000 in 2008 and 37,000 in 2009 as he rejected the Congress claim that BJP was behind such incidents.
“I request all political parties to commit themselves to eradication of such atrocities,” the Home Minister urged.
(With inputs from the PTI)