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Oppn attacks govt over ‘increasing’ attacks on dalits and muslims

Raising the matter in Zero Hour, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge reeled out statistics to highlight attacks on dalits and cited the incident in Mandsaur (MP), besides one in Gujarat and the killing of two dalits in UP to buttress his point.

Demanding a ban on cow vigilante groups like ‘Gau Rakshak Sangh’, he alleged that they have become a law unto themselves and were being encouraged by BJP governments in states. Kharge also attacked the Sangh Parivar alleging that their members and those of the BJP are also involved in such incidents.

“Such incidents can happen only when they have government’s support,” he said, while also referred to reports today that a dalit couple was hacked to death in UP.

Amid cries of ‘shame, shame’ from opposition benches, the Congress leader said the two women pleaded with the attackers that they were carrying buffalo meat and not cow meat and had produced receipt to make their point. “They were still thrashed in front of the police. They were told that if they were men, they would have been killed,” he alleged.

The forensic report, Kharge pointed out, also said it was buffalo meat. He also cited national crime data to take on the government, saying every 80 minute one crime against dalit was taking place, three dalits raped and two murdered every day.

“You (government) will say that it has been happening earlier too, but it has risen after you came to power. It has your support,” he said, drawing support from Trinamool Congress.

In his brief reply over the incident in Madhya Pradesh, the Home Minister “this is a law and order issue. We all know it is a state matter. The Madhya Pradesh government has acted swiftly and effectively. Investigation is being done. I assure the House that justice will be done and the guilty not spared.”

Dalits refuse to dispose of dead cattle, demand protection
Protesting against the thrashing of Dalits in Una, members of the community traditionally engaged in skinning and tannery work have refused to dispose of the dead cattle in several parts of Guajrat demanding that they be provided protection and I-card by the government to prevent harassment from 'gau-rakshaks'.

The decision to stay away from the work by the community members has left the administration harried, particularly in Surendranagar city where the civic body staff has disposed of more than 80 dead cattle using their own resources during the last one week.

According to Surendranagar district Collector Udit Agrawal, he will discuss the demands put forward by the Dalit bodies with the government in coming days.

"Skinners are on strike since last one week. Thus, we are engaging municipality staff to dispose of the carcasses. Even some maldharis (cattle rearers) are also helping us. Till now, we have disposed of 88 cattle in the city. We are making sure that people don't face any problem due to the ongoing 
stir," Agrawal said.

"Once the dust settles, I will call Dalit leaders to discuss their demands, as they have not given me anything in written yet. One of their main demands is issuance of I-cards for skinners. I will definitely put forward this demand to higher authorities for a long-term solution," he said.

The strike has been called by Dalit Manav Adhikar Movement, which is an umbrella body of several Dalit rights groups, including Navrsarjan Trust. According to Natu Parmar of Navsarjan Trust, many Dalits across Gujarat are joining the movement. 
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