Rajkot: Attacking the BJP government over the Dalit thrashing incident, leaders of different non-BJP parties on Saturday accused it of being "anti-Dalit" and promoting "Hindutva fascist forces" even as they questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "deafening silence" over it.
A host of leaders met the victims at the Rajkot civil hospital and Mota Samadhiyala village, and lashed out at the BJP dispensation for not taking prompt action against thosebehind the beating.
CPI(M) polit bureau member Brinda Karat, who also visited Mota Samadhiyala village where seven people belonging to a Dalit community were brutally flogged by self-styled cow vigilantes, took exception to Modi's "deafening silence" over the incident.
Janata Dal (United) stalwart Sharad Yadav, CPI leader D Raja and Babasaheb Ambedkar's grand son Prakash Ambedkar also visited the victims, expressing strong concern and anguish over the incident.
Speaking to reporters, Yadav lashed out at the state government for not taking prompt action against the culprits and questioned the saffron party's claim of safeguarding the Dalits' interests.
He said that victims were beaten up with public looking on and police did not act despite a police station being located nearby.
"We have come here to give encouragement, strength to the victims and their family members. The state government did not take prompt action which indicates how the government is concerned about the safety of Dalits," Yadav said.
"Had the government been competent (in protecting Dalits), no atrocity would have taken place. People were standing around when they were beaten, and the incident took place near a police station," he said, while demanding immediate release of dalits jailed on "fake charges."
Raja, who accompanied Yadav, said that the incident is a "projection and promotion of Hindutva fascist politics, “while terming the BJP-led government as "anti-Dalit."
"It is the projection and promotion of Hindutva fascist politics. And this BJP-led government at Centre is anti-Dalit. This is the politics one should understand. Why else should Dalits be subject of such ordeal, such an attack?" he asked.
Ambedkar, who travelled separately, said that RSS-VHP are using "private army" like cow protection groups to attackDalits and Muslims and demanded ban such groups functioning under VHP and RSS.
"Gorakshak sansthan is a private army of the RSS. Togadia's army is also a non-government army. We need to ask as to why such a private army should exist? Ban the army, and if they do not agree, put them in jail," he said.
Karat said, "While Dalits are immolating themselves intheir own home state 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 gauraksha samitis," she said.
As many as seven persons from the same family were beaten up by self-styled cow vigilantes for skinning a dead cow, sparking widespread protest and condemnation after its videos went viral.
Police have arrested 16 persons in this connection. ChiefMinister Anandiben Patel, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal among those who paid a visit to the victims at their village in the last few days....