This Article is From Jul 21, 2016

First Muslims, Now Dalits Being Oppressed, Especially In BJP States, Says Mayawati: 10 Points

Mayawati speaking against Dalit atrocities in Parliament

Highlights

  • Rahul Gandhi to visit Gujarat to meet men thrashed by 'cow protectors'
  • Arvind Kejriwal to visit the village in Una tomorrow
  • Opposition parties have targeted government on Dalit protests in Gujarat
New Delhi: From a village in Gujarat to Parliament, politics took centrestage over the flogging and shaming of four young men for skinning a dead cow, a video of which has provoked national outrage and violent Dalit protests across the state in the past week.

Here are 10 developments in the story:

  1. In Parliament, opposition parties united against the government for a second straight day, accusing it of allowing cow vigilante groups to terrorise Dalits in Gujarat.

  2. Uttar Pradesh powerhouse and Dalit leader Mayawati said: "In the name of cow protection, in the past one and a half years, first there were atrocities against Muslims, now we see even Dalits are not being spared. This is not just in Gujarat but across the country, especially in BJP-ruled states."

  3. Sharad Yadav, a lawmaker of Bihar's ruling Janata Dal United, said: "Dalits are being attacked with impunity. The government uses cow activism as a political tool. Why aren't these cow protection groups banned by the government?"

  4. On July 11, four men said to be tannery workers were stripped, tied to an SUV, flogged with iron rods and paraded by "Gau Rakshaks" or self-styled cow protectors who then uploaded the video online as a "warning". Eight attackers were arrested and six policemen have been suspended.

  5. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi visited the family of Veshram Sarvaiya, one of the men thrashed by the cow vigilantes in Una, 360 km from Ahmedabad. Tomorrow, Arvind Kejriwal is expected to visit the village.

  6. Mr Gandhi, sitting on a charpoy, offered a sympathetic ear and all possible help to Veshram's father Ballubhai Sarvaiya, who was also injured while trying to protect his son. Veshram's brother Jeetu Sarvaiya acted as translator as Ballubhai showed his wounds.

  7. "Modiji talks about Gujarat model, but here, whoever opposes his ideology is suppressed and attacked," Mr Gandhi said.

  8. Yesterday, leaders from Congress president Sonia Gandhi to Mayawati to Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee condemned what they called "social terror" and "organized crime against Dalits."

  9. Fending off opposition attacks, the ruling BJP acted swiftly to expel a senior Uttar Pradesh leader, Dayashankar Singh, who was heard on camera making abusive remarks about Mayawati.

  10. More than a dozen young men have attempted suicide, vehicles have been burnt and highways have been blocked in various Gujarat cities during angry protests by Dalit groups. Images on Wednesday showed protesters dumping carcasses outside the office of a bureaucrat.