Rajnath condemns Una incident, says attacks on Dalits a ‘social evil’

New Delhi: Asserting that the attack on Dalits was a ‘social evil’, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday condemned the Una incident and urged political parties to unite over the issue.

The Lok Sabha, where the Home minister was speaking, witnessed an uproar when he tried to defend the Gujarat Government’s action in the case.

“During the Congress rule in Gujarat, the number of cases of atrocities against the Dalits was high. There has been a sharp decline in it since the BJP came to power,” Singh said.

“We strongly condemn the Una incident in Gujarat. The Prime Minister also took cognizance of the issue. The atrocities against Dalits is a social evil. We must take it up as a challenge. I urge all parties to come together to fight this,” he added.

He said that nine people have been arrested so far in connection with the case, out of which seven were sent to judicial custody while two others were remanded in police custody.

“Nine people have been arrested so far. Four police officials suspended for negligence of duty,” he said.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi earlier today asserted in her party’s parliamentary party meet that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has snatched away the rights of adivasis, Dalits and traditional forest dwellers under the Forest Rights Act 2006 and was systematically weakening and subverting environmental rights.

A policeman was killed in mob violence and a Dalit committed suicide on Tuesday as protests against last week’s thrashing of four youth in Una town snowballed across Saurashtra region of Gujarat.

The Dalit, who died during the day, was among the five persons from the community who tried to take their own lives in separate incidents in Gujarat. (ANI)