FOUR DAYS after opposition parties raised the issue of alleged atrocities against Dalits in Mangta village of Kanpur Dehat in the state Assembly, which were later denied by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad visited Dalits admitted to a hospital of Kanpur on Friday and assured them of “all possible help”. The Dalits had alleged that they suffered injuries after being beaten up on February 13.
Chandrashekar told them, “Caste is a big thing and when it comes to Dalits, the administration becomes ineffective.” Bhim Army leaders claimed that they wanted to visit Mangta Village in Kanpur Dehat too but were denied permission by the administration.
Chandrashekhar was accompanied by the divisional president of Bhim Army, Sikandar Boudh, who alleged that the administration did not allow the Dalits to raise their voice after they were beaten up. Speaking to The Indian Express, Mehmood Paracha, legal adviser to Bhim Army, who also accompanied Chandrashekar to the hospital in Kanpur, said, “Despite all the claims by the administration, the Dalit victims and their families are still scared. They told us that they are still being threatened.”
He added, “We have written to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary informing him that the provisions of the SC/ST Act have not been followed as these Dalits have not been provided security despite their complaint that they are being threatened. Moreover, they are not being given proper care at the hospital also. We have also demanded action against the guilty officers,” adding that it is to raise voice against all such atrocities that the Bhim Army has given a call for “bandh” on February 23.
On February 17, Bahujan Samaj Party Leader Lalji Verma had first raised the incident in the State Assembly, demanding compensation for the victims. He had informed the House that Dalits were beaten up in Mangta Village of Kanpur Dehat for organising a “Katha” on Buddha and putting up posters of the same. He had informed that on February 13, a group of people had forcibly entered Mangta Village of Kanpur Dehat and had beaten up all including women and children and had demanded compensation for the victims.
While earlier Congress Leaders had also visited the victims, Samajwadi Party as well as Congress had both supported demand of BSP, while Congress had also demanded Judicial inquiry in the incident. However, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had denied all the allegations and had said it was a “local issue” and that the police had already taken necessary action. The CM had also asked opposition “not to do politics over the incident.”
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