The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has sought response from the UP Police top brass over the issue of controversial statement made by former Army chief and MoS External Affairs VK Singh. On Thursday, VK Singh stirred a major controversy when sought his opinion over the brutal killing of two toddlers belonging to the Dalit community in Haryana. Allying the query on the responsibility of the Central government, Singh had said “Centre cannot be blamed if somebody throws a stone at a dog.”
Taking a suo-motu cognisance, the NCSC on Friday issued notices to Director General of Police Uttar Pradesh Jagmohan Yadav and the SSP of Ghaziabad seeking a response on what action had been initiated against the Central minister under the provisions of SC-ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.
“We have sought to know from the police whether action under IPC and SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act can be taken in the case and what action has been taken so far?” NCSC chairman PL Punia said.
“It is insulting not only for that particular Dalit family but the entire Dalit society,” the Commission’s Chairman said adding “even Ramvilas Paswan who is part of the NDA government has condemned it.”
Terming Singh’s remarks as “unfortunate”, Mr. Punia clarified that notice cannot be issued by it to a minister, but to law enforcement agencies for failing in the performance of their duty. The Commission has also asked the DGP of UP and SSP, Ghaziabad to appear in person before it on November 2.
Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) pressed ahead with its earlier announcement of filing criminal complaint against VK Singh. The ruling party in Delhi is also seeking his resignation. AAP legislators Saurabh Bhardwaj, Vishesh Ravi, Rakhi Birla, Hajarilal Chauhan along with Ashutosh Gupta took up their complaint at Central Delhi’s Prasad Nagar police station.
“Going to lodge an FIR against MoS VK Singh in Prasad Nagar police station under SC/ST Act…” AAP leader Ashutosh wrote on his micro-blogging site early on Friday morning.
The Police, however, is yet to file a First Information Report (FIR) even when they have agreed to “inquire” into the complaint, claimed AAP MLA from Greater Kailash, Saurabh Bhardwaj.
The issue has now snowballed into a major political controversy with BJP feeling its echo even outside the national capital.
“The people voted for them in Haryana and helped them form the government. What happened there? Dalit kids were burnt in Haryana. If there is ‘jungle raj’ in Bihar then isn’t Haryana witnessing mangal raj,” Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said while addressing a poll rally in Bihar.
Though, VK Singh on his part issued clarification saying his statement “wasn’t intended to draw an analogy,” his remarks have attracted criticism for the Modi government at the Centre.
(With inputs from the PTI)