Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani took a jibe at the opposition parties on Friday on the issue of Dalit atrocities in Una, saying they were trying to keep the issue alive "to defame Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP". "The opposition parties are interested in keeping the issue alive to defame Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP.
Though the (Una) incident was unfortunate, the political parties are fanning it to stop BJP from coming to power in Uttar Pradesh," Rupani said at a event here. "Figures of cases of atrocities on dalits across the country prove that Gujarat is one of the states where crimes against them are low," he claimed. Rupani rubbished Congress' allegation of '300 percent increase in the cases against Dalits in Gujarat' as "false".
"When we compare crime against Dalits during past Congress rule in Gujarat and during the BJP rule, the cases have decreased in BJP regime," he said. Rupani claimed that the state government had taken "prompt action" in the incident as all the main culprits were arrested the next day. Seven members of Dalit community from Mota Samadhiyala village of Una tehsil of Gir Somnath district were brutally assaulted by some self-styled cow vigilantes for skinning a cow on July 11.
The incident sparked wide-spread protests after videos of the beating went public. Several political leaders like Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and BSP supremo Mayawati had visited the families of the victims. Around 36 persons have been arrested in connection with the case so far.