Arvind Kejriwal’s Turn In Gujarat: ‘Oppressed Dalits Will Teach BJP A Lesson’

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Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal on Friday was the latest visitor to a village in Gujarat that has drawn massive political attention over the flogging and shaming of four Dalit men for skinning a dead cow on July 11.

“The BJP government in Gujarat is anti-Dalit and oppressing Dalits. Those being oppressed by the BJP will teach the party a lesson,” Mr. Kejriwal told reporters after visiting the family of one of the men in Una, 360 km from Ahmedabad.

In video footage that has provoked national outrage, the men, who are tannery workers, were stripped, tied to an SUV, flogged with iron rods and paraded by “Gau Rakshaks” or self-appointed cow protectors who then uploaded the video online as a “warning”.

Veshram Sarvaiya, one of the men severely wounded in the attack, is in a hospital in Rajkot.
His home in Una has become the focal point of political parties who have attacked the ruling BJP in the state and the Centre over what they allege are atrocities against Dalits in Gujarat.

After Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s visit yesterday, it was Mr. Kejriwal’s turn today.

“We demand action against Dalit atrocities,” said the Delhi Chief Minister, who has been visiting Gujarat with growing frequency as his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) preps for polls in the state next year.

Mr. Kejriwal also met activists who attempted suicide over the past week as protests by Dalit groups engulfed Gujarat.

“We have advised them not to commit suicide,” he said.

In Parliament over the past two days, opposition parties have targeted the government and alleged that cow vigilantes have been allowed to bully and torture Dalits, especially tannery workers, who are among the poorest.