Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday condemned atrocities against Dalits and minorities, saying the party would raise in Parliament the flogging of four Dalit boys in Gujarat by a cow vigilante group.
In the Congress Parliamentary Party Meet on Wednesday, Gandhi asserted that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has snatched away rights of adivasis, Dalits and traditional forest dwellers under forest right act 2006 and was systematically weakening and subverting environmental rights.
“Brutal atrocities against SC, ST and minorities are continuing with impunity and shaming us all. The recent shocking incident in Gujarat where four Dalit youths were savagely beaten and humiliated publicly is just one example of the social terror this government condones,” Sonia said.
Gandhi also said recent incidents in Jammu and Kashmir were tragic and it required introspection as to what had driven scores of youth to such levels of anger, protest and violence.
“Recent events in Kashmir pose grave danger to the country,” Gandhi said. The Kashmir Valley has been battling unrest for almost two weeks that has left 44 people dead. The violence started after Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani was killed in a gunfight with security forces on July 8.
A vigilante group had on July 11 stripped and thrashed some Dalit youth in Una town of Gir-Somnath district in Gujarat for allegedly skinning a dead cow, triggering protests across the state. A policeman has since been killed and a Dalit has committed suicide.
Read | Dalit backlash puts Gujarat on the boil; Rahul, Kejriwal to visit Una
She also accused the government of destabilising institutions and polarising society. “The Modi government has mistaken parliamentary majority for a licence to impose narrow ideology on people,” she said.
Addressing the media after the meeting, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said Gandhi pointed to numerous failures of the government – on economic, social and political fronts.
“For example, while Mr. Modi constantly talks about democracy, constantly sheds crocodile tears on principles and values underlining democracy, their government, their workers go around spreading Uttaranchal’s and Arunachal Pradesh’s as far as instability is concerned. Only the judiciary has been able to stop their deplorable moves,” he said.
Singhvi said Gandhi had asked party colleagues to take up diverse issues in and out of Parliament and to expose the government.