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Dalits in Mumbai angry with ‘biased state government’

The Dalit-dominated areas of Naigaum, Worli, Chembur, Ghatkopar, Govandi and Mulund feel the state government is biased towards the Marathas.

mumbai Updated: Jan 04, 2018 21:24 IST
Naresh Kamath
Naresh Kamath
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Dalits,Bhima-Koregaon
The Dalit-dominated areas of Naigaum, Worli, Chembur, Ghatkopar, Govandi and Mulund feel the state government is biased towards the Marathas.(HT)

The city’s Dalit pockets are simmering with anger. Their grouse: the state government’s failure to contain the Pune violence and subsequent reluctance to take action against the culprits of the clashes.

The Dalit-dominated areas of Naigaum, Worli, Chembur, Ghatkopar, Govandi and Mulund feel the state government is biased towards the Marathas. “Despite evidence, Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote [booked for provoking people] have not been arrested till date. In contrast, strict action was taken against the Dalits guilty in the Kopardi case,” said Shyam Kadam, 23, an engineer.

In July last year, a minor Maratha girl was raped and brutally killed by three Dalit youths in Kopardi. The Maratha community built up pressure with their protest. The special court recently convicted the three accused to death.

“All demands of the Maratha community are met instantly, while we have to beg even for basic rights,” said Kamal Kamble, an unemployed youth who lives in a 100sqft house with five family members in Naigaum BDD chawl. “After the Maratha morcha in August, the CM accepted all their demands within hours. Our attackers are roaming free despite our bandh.”

Bhima Pawar who lives in Ramabai Nagar at Ghatkopar blamed the Dalit leaders. “Our leaders are only puppets in the hands of the main political parties, which is why we are in this state today,” said Pawar.

The BJP, however, said they were not biased towards any community. “This is part of dirty politics to defame us. Our government has handled the situation in a mature way. Some elements want to pit one caste against the other. The BJP will never fall in this trap and is committed to punish the guilty,” said BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari.

First Published: Jan 04, 2018 21:23 IST