New Delhi: Replying to the Opposition's attack on alleged Dalit atrocities in Gujarat, Home Minister Rajnath Singh today called the Una incident "unfortunate" even as he praised the BJP government in the state for its handling of the protests, triggering uproar in Lok Sabha. Congress President Sonia Gandhi, targeting the BJP-led government, said that “brutal atrocities against SC, ST and minorities are continuing with impunity and shaming us all”.
By this time, Congress and BSP members too were on their feet with Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad seeking permission to speak. Meanwhile, speaking in the Lok Sabha, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was ‘upset about the attacks on Dalits’.
“We strongly condemn the Una incident in Gujarat. The Prime Minister also took cognizance of the issue. Nine people have been arrested so far and 4 police officials suspended for negligence of duty,” says Rajnath Singh.
The Home Minister added the government was committed to the protection and upliftment of Dalits in this country. “Be it Dalits in Gujarat, or any other state ruled by any other party, we are there to help you. We must get a permanent solution to such incidents. The mindset has to change,” says Rajnath Singh.
Congress leaders were seen shouting slogans while the Home Minister spoke. On July 11, a group of Dalits were allegedly stripped and beaten up by six people for skinning a dead cow at a village in Gir Somnath district.
The victims, belonging to a Dalit community at Mota Samadiyara village of Una taluka in Gir Somnath, claimed they were skinning an already dead cow, while the six accused claimed the animal was killed before being skinned. A purported video showing the people being beaten with iron rods and sticks went viral on social media platforms like Whatsapp. In the video, some people were seen chained to a car, while the accused are seen thrashing them mercilessly.