Surat: After meeting with Una victims, Bahujan Samajwadi Paty (BSP) chief Mayawati on Thursday accused the BJP government in Gujarat of creating an atmosphere of fear for Dalits, saying she felt the pain of the Una victims when cow vigilantes flogged them on July 11. Mayawati visited the Civil Hospital here to express solidarity with the victims of the brutal attack on four Dalits at Una on July 11, hit out at both the Gujarat government and the Congress, saying that both were mum over the issue till she raised the issue in Parliament.
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She said the Bahujan Samaj Party will bear the cost of providing medical treatment to the four if they needed to be shifted to New Delhi. A family of seven Dalits were beaten up by the vigilantes near Mota Samadhiyala village in Una in Gir Somnath district apparently for skinning a dead cow.
The vigilantes then took four of the youngsters to Una town and beat them publicly by tying them to an SUV and dragging them to a police station.
As the video of the incident went viral on social media, it caused outrage across the country. Mayawati became the latest political leader to call on the victims after Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Mayawati also visited the Dalit-dominated Sarangpur area, where she paid floral tributes at a statue of B.R. Ambedkar and met three members of the victimized family who had travelled to the city to meet her.
She addressed a group of BSP supporters. She later went to the Civil Hospital to meet the four youths who are undergoing treatment. She is learnt to have handed over Rs 200,000 in cash to the victims as aid from her party.
Speaking to the media, the BSP leader blasted the Bharatiya Janata Party and its political mentor RSS for the rising number of atrocities against Dalits in the country.
Mayawati said she wanted to visit Una earlier but the BJP conspired against her. "They did so by seeing that (now expelled BJP leader) Daya Shankar makes an irresponsible statement (against me). This diverted the attention and kept me busy.
"I also did not come earlier because I felt that the way BJP has tried to divide the nation on caste lines, if I had come earlier, it would have created a national crisis," she said. "So I waited for the situation to stabilize."