Maharashtra, June 15 : Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday accused Bharatiya Janta Party and its ideological parent RSS of marginalising and assaulting Dalits and tweeted a video of Maharashtra youths who were beaten up and paraded naked in Wakadi village in Jalgaon district for swimming in a well that allegedly belonged to an upper caste man.
The Congress president also said that “history won’t forgive us if we don’t raise our voices against poisonous politics of the RSS and the BJP.”
In another shocking incident of atrocities against Dalits, three minor Dalit boys were stripped, beaten and paraded nude in a village for allegedly swimming in a village well. The incident occurred on June 10 but came to the fore only after some videos of the boys parading naked in the Vakadi village found its way into social media.
Gandhi’s comments on the issue have snowballed into a major political controversy as Union Minister for Social Welfare Ramdas Athawale condemned the shameful incident and said he will visit the village to meet the victims and their families.
“The sole crime of these Dalit children was they were taking a dip in a well. Humanity is struggling to save its dignity,” Gandhi tweeted, came even as a high-level team of Maharashtra Congress visited the village to assess the situation.
“The crime of these Dalit children of Maharashtra was just that they were taking bath in a well belonging to an upper caste man…..History won’t forgive us if we don’t raise our voices against the Manuvadi and poisonous politics of the RSS and the BJP,” reads the translation of the tweet by Rahul Gandhi.
The video purportedly shows the two boys — aged 15 and 16 — being beaten up with a belt and paraded naked in Pahur village in Jamner taluka by the accused duo, a local police official said.
The incident served as a major embarrassment for the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena combine even as Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is on a tour of Dubai, Canada and the US to attract investment.
When some locals learnt of it, a large number of people, including many from upper castes, gathered near the well and pulled out the boys.
They were shouted at and subjected to abuses before some persons allegedly forced the boys to strip and paraded them nude around the village.