Javkhed killings: Under fire, Fadnavis govt takes steps to woo Dalits

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Dec 01, 2014 21:24 IST

The Maharashtra government, under fire for being unable to trace the culprits of the murder of a Dalit family in Javkheda, has now started wooing the community.

On Sunday, CM Devendra Fadnavis rushed to Aurangabad to placate the family members of the victims, while in Mumbai, Dalits were assured a grand memorial of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar at Dadar will become a reality soon.

In addition, the Mumbai BJP has demanded withdrawing of all cases against Dalit youths booked for the Indu Mill agitation.

After meeting the family members of the victims, Fadnavis said the government may hand over the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), if the local police fail to crack the case within the time given to them.

“There cannot be an endless wait for the police to nab the culprits. If they fail, we may consider handing over the probe to the CBI,” Fadnavis told the media. In Mumbai, the BJP organised a convention for Dalits where it was announced the bhoomi poojan for the memorial will be held soon. “The previous government wasted time but we have moved fast and the bhoomi poojan will take place by April 14,” said Cabinet minister Vinod Tawde. The statement comes just ahead of December 6, Ambedakar’s death anniversary, when lakhs of Dalits will assemble at Dadar to pay tribute to the leader.

The government is anticipating flak in the approaching winter session of the Assembly for its inept handling of crimes against Dalits. Already, former Byculla Congress MLA Madhu Chavan has organised a dharna against the government, while on Friday, two major Dalit parties had held protests on this issue.

However, official sources said the memorial is unlikely to come up any time soon, as formalities for acquiring the Indu Mill land are yet to be completed.

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