First Gaurakshaks Targeted Muslims, Now They Have Turned on Dalits: Mayawati

In a comprehensive 23 minute speech in Parliament today, leader of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Mayawati said that under BJP ruled states in the country, especially after the  BJP came to power at the Centre, Gaurakshaks first targeted the Muslim Minority and had now turned to Dalits. Maywati also spoke at length on her appreciation of across the board condemnation of the vicious comment made against her by BJP leader, Dayashankar Singh from Uttar Pradesh.

The Upper House of Parliament was having an extensive discussion under Rule 176 on the issue of Caste Atrocities. Mayawati spoke critically of the Modi Regime’s efforts to woo Dalits and give them sops in a superficial manner while actually denying them benefits of affirmative action in employment: the Modi regime’s undue encouragement of the private corporate sector where the ruling party had failed to push the issue of reservations for Dalits was effectively denying them jobs, she said. She was also critical of previous Congress governments in the country and states.
Gau hatya Mussalmaan par atyachaar, ab Daliton par atyachaar. Specific atrocities were visible after the Modi regime came to power and could be seen not just in Gujarat but in BJP-ruled states. First Muslims were targeted consistently, now Dalits are not being spared. The Una incident of July 12 where Dalit tanners were brutally beaten as a compliant police watched, said Mayawati, received nationwide attention only after July 18 when she raised the matter in Parliament and Gujarat’s Dalits started statewide protests. Though symbolic action of suspension has still been taken against police officials who were complicit this mere suspension is not enough, they should not be brought back after a few months; they should be prosecuted and sent to jail. Besides, an investigation by CID is not enough, she said since CID investigations merely delay or shield perpetrators; instead of the CID, an immediate investigation by hand picked, honest police officers should be ordered, prosecution should proceed in a time bound manner and Special and Fast Tracks by two sitting Judges should take place:at least one Dalit Judge should adjudicate the matter under supervision by a High Court Judge, the Dalit leader demanded.

If these protective steps were not taken, said Mayawati, the case of the Dalit tanners would meet the same fate as the criminal case into the ‘institutional murder’ of Rohith Vemula’s. She also drew attention to the long delays in the justice process when atrocities against Dalits take place: for instance during the Shiv Sena-BJP combine’s rule in Maharashtra in 1997, the Ramabai Nagar firing had left 10 Dalits were killed.(Mayawati as chief minister of UP had financially assisted the survivors but it took years to get justice). In 2006, under Congress-NCP rule, the ghastly Khairalnjee atrocity had taken place where an entire Dalit family, especially Priyanka and Surekha Bhotmage had taken place near Nagpur, Vidharbha. After several years life imprisonment had been given to accused but the matters lie in appeal before the Supreme Court. The specific needs and circumstances for Dalit atrocity cases need to be kept in mind to ensure that faith in the system is redeemed, she said.




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