The Opposition Congress on Monday strongly condemned the attacks on Dalit community in several villages by upper castes opposed to Dalit grooms taking out their wedding procession on horses. Congress demanded that the BJP government in the state take a stern action against the accused involved in the assaults “so as to prevent further occurrence of such incidents that disturb law and order”.
State Congress president Amit Chavda said that the attacks on Dalit grooms riding horses during weddings have increased as the BJP government was not taking any effective action against the accused. “Had the government taken effective action even in one case, it would have worked as a deterrence and prevented occurrence of violence on such occasions,” Chavda told reporters here.
He said that the Constitution permitted every citizen of India, including Dalits, to organise their social functions as per their customs and it was the responsibility of the state to provide protection to ensure that they celebrated their social and religious functions in a peaceful atmosphere.
“The BJP government has totally failed in providing protection to the Dalit community in the state and its negligence has resulted in deterioration of the social harmony,” Chavda said.
Senior Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia alleged that the BJP was encouraging elements who were resorting to such acts against the Dalits. “The entire village should come together to celebrate and be part of marriage celebrations or such happy occasions. The police and the state government should take strong action against those who oppose this. But from what we have witnessed in Gujarat, the ruling BJP encourages such elements who work against Dalits,” Modhwadia said.
“The world is looking at (PM) Narendra Modi’s Gujarat model. Modi and (BJP chief) Amit Shah owe an answer to the people of the country as to why the state government failed to take action. They (PM and Shah) should seek reply from the state government and ask them to ensure this is not repeated,” he said.