Dalit Attacks Issue: Drop in number of attacks on Dalits: Rajnath

August 12, 2016 06:32 AM

New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday decried attempts to “create an impression” that the NDA government was anti-Dalit, and assured the Lok Sabha that his Ministry had told the State governments that strict and tough action should be taken against “any anti-social elements, whether in the name of Gau Raksha or any other cause”, who try to harm any member of the Dalit community.

He was responding to a debate on the recent incidents of atrocities against Dalits in Gujarat and other places as a result of cow vigilantism.

The government had, after two back-to-back speeches on the issue by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, decided to give in to Opposition demands for a debate in the Lok Sabha, and fielded no less than four Ministers — Mr. Singh, Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu, Minister for Food Ram Vilas Paswan and Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal.

While attendance remained sparse for much of the debate, the government made a strong case against associating specific incidents of violence against Dalits with the BJP-led government at the Centre or the Sangh Parivar.

“I do not want to go into State-wise figures on crimes against Dalits, but overall figures show that in 2013 the cases of violence against Dalits were 39,346, which rose to 40,300 in 2014 and came down again (after the NDA took over) in 2015 to 38,564,” Mr. Singh said.

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