At rally in Dalit heartland, Kejri promises SIT to probe atrocities

  • Ravinder Vasudeva, Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
  • Updated: Jul 05, 2016 15:05 IST
Akali workers protesting against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal at Malerkotla in Sangrur district on Monday. (Bharat Bhushan/HT)

Eyeing Dalit vote in the 2017 Punjab elections, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday promised to have a special investigation team (SIT) review the cases of atrocities against the oppressed class if the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won the mandate.

Akalis burnt Quran in attempt to defame AAP: Kejriwal in Malerkotla

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)-style stage had a huge picture of Dalit icon Bhimrao Ambedkar as the backdrop and all speeches of the day started and ended with the shouts of ‘Jai Bhim, Jai Bharat’ and ‘Jo bole so nirbhay, Ravidas maharaj ki jai’. Dalits worship 15th-century saint Guru Ravidas. Almost all speakers also remembered BSP founder Kanshi Ram and the way he had aligned the Dalits to oppose atrocities.

Kejriwal asked the gathering to recall how the limbs of a Dalit, Bhim Tank, were chopped at an Akali leader ’s farmhouse in Abohar and how Dalit student Rohith Vemula had been forced to commit suicide in Andhra Pradesh.

Claiming that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre was about to scrap reservation for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, since the fellow right wing RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh) had asked for a review, he said: “I will die but not let anyone fiddle with the quota system.”

The Delhi CM said his prospective government would use education to bring the Dalits out of poverty. “We have increased the annual education budget of Delhi from Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 10,000 crore and become the first state government to send teachers to the US for training,” said Kejriwal.

Muslim groups protest against AAP MLA

Some Muslims led by the chairman of state welfare and development board for Muslims, Dilbagh Hussain, protested against Arvind Kejriwal over the alleged hand of Delhi’s AAP legislator Naresh Yadav in the desecration of Quran at Malerkotla on June 24 that had led to violence.

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