Police on Sunday detained 17 Dalit protesters after they tried to disrupt a ‘social inclusiveness’ programme organised by BJP, attended by the party’s senior Dalit leaders.
Gujarat Assembly Speaker Ramanlal Vora, social justice and empowerment minister Atmaram Parmar, Rajya Sabha member Shambhuprasad Tundiya and Lok Sabha member Kirit Solanki were the main speakers at the programme at Anandnagar here.
Some Dalit protesters shouted anti-BJP slogans and showed black flags, police said. The women among them beat utensils.
“We detained 17 persons…12 men and five women,” said inspector P B Rana.
BJP is trying to win back support of the Dalit community in the aftermath of Una incident where cow vigilantes beat up some Dalits.
Today’s protest was backed by the Bahujan Samaj Party, its state secretary Pradeep Parmar said.
“Some of our workers were among the protesters. We wanted to convey to the BJP leaders that we do not need inclusiveness but equality. The party (BJP) is not serious about Dalits but is always at the front when it comes to seeking their votes,” Parmar said.