Sunday, November 02, 2003

Dalits a victimised lot, says BJP

PATNA: The alleged murder of a Dalit, Om Prakash alias K B Paswan, on October 28 by the police and the rape bid on two Dalit women on October 30 in Patna took a new twist on Saturday with the BJP claiming that they were victimised as they had not voted for the RJD nominees during the last Lok Sabha and assembly elections.

They said that the situation had come to such a pass that the Dalits were being killed and assaulted even on the occasion of Chhath festival. Five senior leaders of the BJP, including Union small scale industries minister C P Thakur, leader of the opposition in the state assembly Sushil Kumar Modi and leader of the opposition in the legislative council Ganga Prasad, who on Saturday met the kin of Om Prakash at his Rukunpura residence, held the officer in-charge of Danapur police station, Pramod Kumar, responsible for his death and demanded lodging of a criminal case against the police official.

Referring to the alleged rape bid on two Dalit women of Chhotki Rukunpura, falling under the Gardanibagh police station, Thakur said that the criminals involved in the crime had threatened the two women and their family members with dire consequences if they did not withdraw the named FIR lodged with the police in connection with the incident. The BJP leaders alleged that the people involved in the crime were supporters of Prabhunath Yadav, the younger brother of the state chief minister.

The BJP leaders also visited the residence of the two Dalit women. The chief whip of the BJP in the state assembly, Navin Kishore Prasad Sinha, said that the affected Dalit families could not offer "arghya" to the Sun God on the morning of October 31. Modi said that there were enough circumstantial evidence to suggest that Om Prakash had died due to merciless beating by Kumar.

Source: The Times of India, November 2, 2003

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