Ahmedabad: Congress today termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "silence" on Una Dalit thrashing incident as "devaluation" of his post as well as democracy, even as the opposition party organised sit-in agitations across Gujarat against the incident.
"He (Modi) took votes from Gujarat and became PM. But, he has refused to utter a single word for Dalits as he fears that it will harm BJP in Gujarat. This is devaluation of democracy and PM's post," said Leader of Opposition in Legislative Assembly, Shankersinh Vaghela.
While the protests were held at various places in 33 districts, senior party leaders, including state unit Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki and Vaghela participated in a dharna near collector's office in the city.
The Congress leaders blamed the brutal assault on Dalit youths on the "anti-Dalit mentality" of the BJP and state government.
Addressing a gathering of Dalits here, Solanki said the "atrocities" committed on people under the BJP government are "more heinous and barbaric than during the British rule".
"This government crushes all those who raise their voices for their rights. Dalits and poor citizens are subjected to atrocities in Gujarat. This government is having an anti-Dalit mentality, as people who thrashed Dalits in Una were supporters of BJP," he alleged.
Solanki alleged that more than 40 people were involved in thrashing Dailts at Una, but only 16 were arrested.
"This shows that enough steps are not taken by government to instill a sense of security among Dalits. Such incident on Dalits has tarnished Gujarat's image," the Congress leader said.
On July 11, some Dalit youths from Mota Samadhiyala village in Una taluka of Gir-Somnath district were flogged allegedly by cow protection vigilantes for skinning a dead cow.
The incident sparked a huge outrage in Gujarat with the Dalits taking to streets and indulging in vandalism and arson