'First they targeted Muslims, now they are attacking Dalits' Says Mayawati, Govt cornered in Parliament

Opposition parties blamed BJP for the anti - Dalit attack across the country

Opposition parties in the Parliament united against the government against the rising atrocities against the Dalits. Participating in the discussion on the flogging of Dalits in Gujarat, opposition leaders blamed BJP for the rise in attacks against the Dalits across the country. Outside the Parliament Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi met the victims who were attacked by the cow vigilante groups in Gujarat and offered all assistance.

Mayawati came down heavily against the government and BJP for the recent spike in crimes against Dalits.

"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."  She said and added that though everyone is talking about Dalit empowerment nothing has changed on the ground.

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said the falling conviction rate in the cases of anti Dalit atrocities shows how the system works. He said the attitude of  the government should change. "Government is promoting obscurantism" He alleged.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi visited the home of a Dalit man whose four sons were brutally flogged on July 11 for skinning a dead cow and announced assistance of Rs 5 lakh for the family.

Gandhi was accompanied by the party's Gujarat affairs in-charge Gurudas Kamat, state Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki and other party leaders here as well as Congress leader and Dalit leader Kumari Selja.

Scores of people thronged Samadhiyala village in Una taluka (tehsil) of Gir-Somnath district as the Congress leader spent time in the village.

Even as he freely interacted with them, Gandhi asked Jitu Sarvaiya, Babubhai's nephew, if this was the first time or they had been suffering caste discrimination for long.
"There was nothing new in this, this is quite normal," Sarvaiya said.

Gandhi sat with the family and held Babubhai Sarvaiya's hand as they all became emotional. The Congress vice president shared tea with the Dalit family, something they are not used to by high-caste people.

CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat  asked the Gujarat government to disband cow protection committees and crack down on rabid communal outfits purveying "anti-Dalit" and "anti-Muslim" sentiments.

"It is not enough for the state government to arrest culprits involved in the Una outrage. It must act to disband the cow protection committees and crack down on the rabid communal outfits which are purveying anti-Dalit and anti-Muslim sentiments," ex-CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said.