Ahmedabad: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday met the victims of the Una incident in Gujarat and pledged all help from his party.
The state has witnessed huge protests after seven Dalit youths were flogged publicly for skinning a dead cow in Mota Samadhilya village of Gir-Somnath district last week.
Several youths have reportedly attempted suicide over the assault even as the violence and arson spread to various places in the state.
“Told Rahul ji everything, how we were all beaten up. He said they will do everything in their power to get us justice,” a victim said after meeting Gandhi.
“Why would we leave this village? People who hurt us should leave,” he said.
The Gujarat Police arrested seven more persons on Wednesday in connection with the July 11 incident.
Later, Rahul Gandhi went to meet some of the victims and their family members at the Rajkot civil hospital.
Speaking to media persons after meeting the victims, Gandhi said, "PM Modi talks about Gujarat model, but if anyone here demands education, fights against big corporates, their voice is suppressed."
He added, "This is a fight between two ideologies. Gandhi ji, Nehru ji, Sardar Patel ji, BR Ambedkarji on a side and RSS, Modi ji on the other."
"Modi ji talks about Gujarat model, but here whosoever raises his voice against their ideology, whoever asks for education, whoever stands against big corporates, are trampled upon and suppressed," Rahul further said.
Meanwhile, condemning the incident, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said: "What happened in Una is totally condemnable. The state government not only condemned it but took prompt action."
Earlier, a fact-finding team had claimed that the youths who were accused of cow slaughter were brutally beaten up for several hours but police failed to act.
It said Dalits are not involved in cow slaughter but made ''soft targets".
Chief Minister Anandiben Patel has also met the victims' family and promised them all possible help.