Ahmedabad: In a video message released by party spokesperson Ashutosh at a press conference today, the Delhi Chief Minister asked Dalit youths to not attempt suicide, responding to the news of more than a dozen and half protesting Dalit members attempting suicide in different places in the state over the Una incident.
Kejriwal is scheduled to visit Una tomorrow.
“In Gujarat, some youths of Dalit community were beaten up so severely that it has shaken people’s conscience. Those who saw the video are raising questions over it. And we saw how at different places in Gujarat, Dalit community members tried to commit suicide,” he said.
“And this is not happening only with the Dalit community. It appears government here is trying to suppress other community members also,” Kejriwal said.
Dalit community members have been protesting the brutal assault on some community members on July 11 for allegedly skinning a cow at Una in Gir-Somnath district.
He said protests by Patidar community members last year was peaceful but police resorted to violence and government jailed several youths under sedition charges.
“When I talk to businessmen here, they say they get phone calls that if you do this you will be killed,” he said, adding that government is “spreading fear by scaring and beating people using its police.”
“I feel everybody in Gujarat should come together. Dalits, Patidars, businessmen, all need to come together and stand against this oppression. The entire country is with you,” he said.
In the message, Kejriwal added that protesting members should maintain peace and Dalit youths should not attempt suicide.
“Why should you commit suicide ?” he asked Dalit youths, adding: “We will fight, we will win, then why kill yourself? If we all come together, then unity is strength. All community members should come together. We will win. The entire country is with you,” he said in a two minute-40 second second video message played at the press conference.
Speaking to media persons, Ashutosh questioned the role of police in the atrocity committed against Dalits in Una, and charged that even the Centre is trying to protect the Gujarat government by giving it a ‘clean chit’.
Ashutosh also questioned Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement in Parliament yesterday in response to the Una incident.
“The Home Minister is also giving false statements in Parliament. It was said in Parliament that Dalit atrocities in Gujarat was very less. Our data shows that between 2001 and 2016, many incidents of Dalit atrocities have been reported.
From 1,033 in 2001 to 1,052 in 2015, and 409 till June 2016, it has continued to increase under BJP regime,” he said.
“Second, he has given a clean chit to the Gujarat government. I would like to say that there is an environment of terror under this government,” he charged.