Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday met Dalits who were thrashed by members of a Hindu “cow protection group” and blamed the Gujarat government for their misery.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader demanded strictest punishment to the guilty.
After meeting the four victims at the Civil Hospital here, Kejriwal told the media: “The culprits must get such punishment that it should shake them to the core. An example must be set.”
He said the Gujarat government did not act in time because the attack on the Dalits was blessed by people at the top.
“They were thrashed in full public view. If such an incident is happening in the presence of the administration, it means those culprits were backed by higher powers. It shows the government was involved,” Kejriwal said.
He accused the Gujarat government of being “anti-Dalit”.
Four Dalit youths were stripped above the waist and beaten mercilessly with iron rods in Mota Samadhiya village by a cow protection group for skinning a dead cow.
The video of the thrashing went viral, sparking outrage nationwide.
Kejriwal separately described the cow protection groups that have sprung up in recent times as “BJP goondas unleashed by the top BJP leadership to polarise society and create fear in the minds of people”.
A day earlier, Kejriwal said an atmosphere of “oppression” prevailed across Gujarat and people of all communities were feeling threatened.
In a video message, he asked people to unite and raise their voice against what he called the oppression of the state.