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Mevani targets govt over stalling of Dalit wedding processions

Press Trust of India  |  Ahmedabad 

MLA on Tuesday accused the government of being "casteist" and failing to ensure the safety of Dalits after some of their marriage processions were targeted by members of other communities.

He said the government in the state was a "mute spectator" while Dalits were facing discrimination.

"A serious situation has arisen in where Dalits cannot take out their marriage processions. Chief Minister has not uttered a single word on the incident," Mevani told reporters here.

He said it was Rupani's responsibility to appeal to people to stop behaving in a "hateful manner" against Dalits.

"The government has become a mute spectator of the entire incident. Whatever happens to Dalits, we were going to do nothing, such is the casteist, callous and indifferent attitude of this government," he said.

On Sunday, a wedding procession was blocked by members of an upper caste community at Khambisar village in district, after which stones were pelted, leading to tension in the village.

In a similar incident at Sitvada village in district, the wedding procession of a groom had to be provided police protection on Sunday after members of the OBC Thakor community opposed it.

Last Friday, the Thakor community members objected to a wedding procession as the groom was riding a horse on way to the marriage venue at Lhor village in district.

Dubbing such incidents as "shameful and painful," Mevani said, "In all such five incidents, Dalits had informed the police in advance. But despite that, the police, the BJP government could not ensure peaceful procession and that the Dalit groom could ride a horse."

The Dalit leader, who is an Independent MLA from Vadgam, said neither Rupani nor met the affected people.

He also criticised for being silent on atrocities against Dalits in even as he referred to the Alwar gang rape incident in one of his public meetings.

"Modiji is busy cornering the government of over the Alwar gang rape incident, but is not ready to say a word on what all is happening here," he said.

Mevani also accused the police of failing to protect Dalits in the state.

Referring to a video clip in which Aravalli's Deputy Superintendent of Police Falguni Patel was allegedly seen abusing Dalits at Khambisar village after clashes erupted over the Dalit marriage procession, he demanded action against her.

Mevani said Dalit leaders will organise a meeting on May 18 in the affected villages.

Human rights activist called such incidents as cases of "anarchy and lawlessness".

"The BJP leaders say the issue should not be politicised. But this is a political question because the has remained silent even when the incidents took place despite the police having been informed well in advance," said the Gujarat-based activist.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 14 2019. 17:00 IST