After another case of caste cauldron surfaced with a video of minor Dalit boys being stripped and beaten up for bathing in a well at Wakadi village, Maharashtra, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Friday blamed the RSS and Bharatiya Janata Party’ politics for such incidents.
“The sole crime of these Dalit children was they were taking a dip in a well. Humanity is struggling to save its dignity,” Gandhi tweeted on Friday.
He said if “we don’t raise our voices against this politics of hate and poison of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and BJP, history would not forgive us”.
Rahul Gandhi’s comments on the issue, which has snowballed into a major political controversy, came even as a high-level team of Maharashtra Congress visited the village to assess the situation.
“Strongly condemning the outrage on the Dalit boys,” Union Minister for Social Welfare Ramdas Athawale said, adding he will visit the village to meet the victims and their families.
Assaulted, paraded naked for bathing at well belonging to upper caste
On June 10, three minor Dalit boys were stripped, beaten up and paraded naked at Wakadi village after they were found bathing at a well belonging to the upper caste.
The incident came as a major embarrassment for the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena combine even as Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is on a tour of Dubai, Canada and the US to attract investment.
The boys were allegedly shouted at, abused, stripped and paraded naked around the village.
In the video, the boys can be seen clutching leaves to cover their private parts while a person can be seen assaulting them on the legs and back with a belt.
At least two persons have been arrested in connection with the incident and have been booked under the provisions of Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and Information Technology Act, besides other charges.
It was after much cajoling that the boys and their families lodged a complaint with the police. But as pressure increased on them to withdraw the complaint, the family members blamed their children (boys) for their indiscretion in the matter.
On Thursday, Maharashtra Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil said that the well belonged to a Ishwar Joshi and his servant Sonu Lohar had assaulted the boys.