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‘Prime Minister did not do enough for Dalits in his home state’

Tuesday, Aug 30, 2016,13:54 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Ahmedabad | Una Dalit Atyachar Ladat Samiti, a Dalit organisation formed after the last month’s Una flogging incident, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not do enough to address their problems.

Modi would visit Gujarat’s Jamnagar district on Tuesday to inaugurate Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation Yojna.

Modi had not done enough to ensure safety and well-being of the Dalits in his home state, the organisation said.

Jignesh Mevani of Dalit Samiti today said the PM paid only lip service instead of reining in the cow vigilantes.

“Instead of staging protests during Modi’s visit, we want to register our protest by asking under what circumstances the so-called gau-rakshaks became so fearless in Gujarat and in the country under his rule. Modi claimed he is angry over the Dalit thrashing incidents. But what’s the use of such statements when the Dalits are still being targeted?” he said.

He was referring to an attack on some Dalits while returning from a protest rally in Una town of Gir-Somnath district on August 15 in the wake of thrashing of seven Dalit youths at Mota Samadhiyala village on July 11.

“I want to ask him if he ever bothered to visit the home of a Dalit man subjected to atrocity or a Dalit woman subjected to rape,” Mevani said.

He alleged that the community still faces discrimination “right under the nose of the government”. He demanded agricultural land for the Dalits, so that they can give up traditional occupations like skinning the dead cattle or cleaning sewer lines.

“If Adanis and Ambanis can get thousands of acres of land for business, why Dalits are not given small piece of land to ensure they live a respectable life? our agitation will not stop till our demands are met,” said Mevani.