Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel accused political leaders, making a beeline to meet Dalit victims who were beaten up in Una, of trying to gain a political mileage ahead of next year’s elections and said on Friday that they should not be trusted.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and NCP leader Praful Patel have met the victims and their families at Mota Samadhiyala village in Gir Somnath district in the last couple of days.
“They came, spoke and went away, but the state government is doing what needs to be done...don’t trust them. Have faith in our government,” Patel said, speaking to reporters in Gandhinagar. Her government had acted promptly to ensure justice for victims, she said.
“Political parties are trying to get a mileage out of the issue and creating a political controversy because of the (assembly) elections due next year,” she said.
“But Dalits and suppressed classes of Gujarat know what our government has done for them in last fifteen years. There is not a single community that has not benefited from government largesse... We do not discriminate among members of various communities and will never do.”
The chief minister said police had arrested sixteen people immediately after the incident. The case would be tried in a designated court for which notification had been issued. CID had taken over the probe and the government had paid compensation to the victims, she said.
On July 11, some Dalit youths from Mota Samadhiyala who were skinning a dead cow were flogged by ‘cow protection’ vigilantes, alleging that they had killed the cow.
After a video of the incident went viral, it sparked off violent protests across Gujarat.