People have hopes from our govt… Dalit atrocity case disappointing: Pilot

Sachin Pilot said, “There is a need to send a message...When the previous government was in power, then whenever any such incidents happened, we were vocal about it and tried to hold the government accountable."

Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot on Friday said that atrocities against Dalits are disappointing and apart from administrative action and inquiries, there is a need to make a political statement.

Pilot’s statement, which sounded critical of his own government, came a day after a 26-year-old Dalit man from Barmer district died in police custody with his family members accusing the police of murder. The Rajasthan government is presently drawing severe criticism over incidents of atrocities against Dalits, including a recent incident in Nagaur, in which two Dalit youths were assaulted on the suspicion of theft, and a screwdriver inserted in the anus of one of them.

“Log umeed karte hain hamari sarkar se ki jo garib tabka hai, vishesh roop se Dalit bhai hain, adivasi bhai hain, dabe hue log hain, wo Congress ke sarkar se umeed karte hain ki unko paryapt suraksha aur maan sammaan diya jai. Hamesha se hamari party ki reeti neeti rahi hai, manifesto hai, itihas gawah hai ki hamesha Congress sarkaron ne sab logo ke raksha karne ka kaam kiya jo samaj mein aaj pichde hai, dabe kuchle log hain. Lekin Dalit utpidan ka mamla jo samne aya, wo bada nirashajanak hai aur mujhe lagta hai ki sirf prashashanik karyavahi ya inquiry karne ke alawa ham logo ko ek rajneetik sandesh dena bahut zaruri hai (People have hopes from our government, that the poor section, especially the Dalit and tribal brothers, oppressed people, they have hopes from the Congress government that they will get proper protection and respect. It has always been a tradition of our party, the manifesto and history is witness to this that Congress governments have worked for the protection of everybody, of those who are oppressed in the society. But the Dalit atrocity case is very disappointing and I feel that besides taking administrative action or inquiry, it is very important that we send a political message),” Pilot told reporters in Jodhpur.

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He added that it is the responsibility of the government to strike fear in the hearts of those involved in such incidents and to let them know that they won’t be spared.

“There is a need to send a message...When the previous government was in power, then whenever any such incidents happened, we were vocal about it and tried to hold the government accountable. Today we are in the government, so our responsibility increases. People have more expectations from our government that we not only give physical protection to SC/ST, poor, farmers but also protect their honour. If there is fear among people, it should be our priority to allay it and to help build trust in their minds,” said Pilot, who is also the president of state Congress.

Also Read | Barmer Dalit custodial death: ‘I could hear my brother screaming'

Pilot added that appropriate action should be taken against any officials found to be involved or negligent in such cases. He said he has submitted a report by a delegation of Congress MLAs on the Nagaur incident to party president Sonia Gandhi.

Pilot also said that time has come to fix accountability and take action against corruption in issues such as sand mining.