BSP chief Mayawati on Thursday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi make a statement in Parliament on the issue of atrocities on Dalits. Speaking to reporters outside the Parliament, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister alleged that the recent statements of the Prime Minister on Dalits were an exercise in "damage control" and Dalits don’t need Modi’s sympathies.
Ahead of UP Assembly elections and polls in some other states, there have been incidents like the Rohith Vemula episode, attack on Una youth and other atrocities which have affected BJP's image with regard to Dalits, Mayawati claimed. "Our party wants that rather than expressing sympathy with dalits, the PM should focus on acting against those who commit atrocities against them," the BSP chief said.
She also demanded that Modi should speak on the issue in the Parliament. "If he can speak on it outside, he can also say it in the House," she said. On Sunday, a 13-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly denied drinking water by a priest at a temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal. The girl went to a temple in search of water, where the priest and his assistant allegedly made casteist remarks against her and prevented her from drinking water. After the girl’s father confronted the priest, he allegedly attacked the father with a trident (trishul).
In another incident, a group of men bashed up two Dalits, accusing them of stealing a cow and killing it for meat at Sudhapalem in East Godavari on Monday night, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned against such attacks on Dalits, at a public meeting in Hyderabad. However, the attackers were not gau rakshaks, but men who suspected theft of their cows. According to a report, the Dalits, who were brothers, were tied to a tree, stripped off their clothes and thrashed mercilessly.