Mota Samadhiyala/Rajkot: Alleging Gujarat government's collusion in the Dalit thrashing incident, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday dubbed it "anti-Dalit" and accused the ruling BJP of "trampling" upon the depressed sections.
Kejirwal targeted the BJP after meeting the victims in Rajkot civil hospital first and visiting Mota Samadhiyala village in Una to meet their family members, a day after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi met the victims. Seven persons of Dalit community were brutally thrashed by cow vigilantes for skinning a dead cow on 11 July, triggering nationwide condemnation.
The AAP chief also alleged that the Gujarat government first allows crimes be carried out on Dalits and then slaps false cases on people who come out in protest on streets. He alleged that the dalit victims were beaten up at the behest of the administration.
"The beating happened in front of a police station in the presence of police, with police batons... it means this is happening at the behest of the administration. Why is police silent ? Why is it involved ? This means there is some direction from the top administration," he told reporters.
"The BJP government in Gujarat is inflicting atrocities on Dalits, it is anti-Dalit," he said.
"The BJP first sends its goons to beat Dalits, and when their community members come out on the streets to protest, false cases are filed against them," Kejriwal alleged.
Kejriwal also rubbished BJP's contention that leaders are making a beeline to Gujarat only to make political gains.
"Our politics is for justice of Dalits, while BJP's politics is for trampling upon them," Kejriwal said in reply to a question on politics behind the visit.
Apart from Rahul Gandhi and leaders of other non-BJP parties, Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel had visited the victims day before yesterday.
A Trinamool Congress parliamentary delegation is slated to come to Rajkot and Una tomorrow and JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav is also expected to meet the victim's family.
Kejriwal also questioned the state government's intent to carry out investigation without showing bias against Dalits.
He said only 16 persons have been arrested while 40-50 people were involved in the incident. "Why are others not held so far? The victims told me that the accused were members of Shiv Sena. The government is trying to save them,"he alleged.
Kejriwal also triggered a controversy by meeting a Dalit youth arrested for allegedly murdering a police head constable in Amreli during protests over the thrashing of youths from the community by cow vigilantes.
It evoked strong reaction from BJP, whose Saurashtra- Kutch spokesperson Raju Dhruv said the Delhi CM's aim was to make "personal and political gains."
Kerjiwal demanded exemplary punishment for those involved in the crime so that in future nobody dares to commit such crimes again. He also demanded jobs for victims' kin and proper compensation for them.
He claimed that it was not an "isolated" incident and "atrocities" on Dalits were being committed across Gujarat. He warned that the BJP government will be "taught a lesson" by members of all communities if it does not end its "oppression".
He said those who attempted suicide told him that "atrocities against Dalits are growing day by day in Gujarat".
"I asked them why they are committing suicide. They said atrocities against Dalits are growing day by day. Then I told them that suicide is not the way out, we will have to fight together," Kejriwal stressed.
Till now, 20 people have attempted suicide during the protest on violence against Dalits.
The incident of flogging of Dalits has sparked protests by community members across the state, which continued for days causing loss of public property.
Sixteen people have been arrested so far in connection with the assault on Dalits, while four policemen have been suspended for dereliction of duty.