Maharashtra energy minister Nitin Raut, stopped by UP Police, vows to return to the state
No political leader or worker was allowed by the police to reach Basgaon to condole the murder of a Dalit Pradhan on the eve of Independence Day
Maharashtra energy minister Nitin Raut, who was detained by Uttar Pradesh Police and stopped from visiting Basgaon in Azamgarh where a Dalit Pradhan was killed allegedly by upper caste villagers, said he was disappointed at the unprofessional conduct of Uttar Pradesh Police. Before returning to Mumbai, he said he would return to convey his condolences to the bereaved family and express his solidarity.
Raut, who is also the chairman of the department of Scheduled Castes in the Congress, said he had followed the protocol and informed UP Government that he would be visiting Basgaon. But after he landed in Varanasi and left for Azamgarh, he was stopped by the police.
NCRB data shows a 47% increase in atrocities against Dalits in Uttar Pradesh, pointed out the Maharashtra minister, adding, “there is complete lawlessness in Uttar Pradesh, where nobody is safe but the police are being deployed to prevent elected representatives from doing their work.
“Although I am a cabinet minister in Maharashtra, senior police officers avoided taking my calls or speak to me. Lower level policemen were rude and threatened to escort me where other Congress leaders were detained,” he complained.
Police prevented the UPCC president Ajay Kumal Lallu and Congress workers from visiting the village, where 42-year old Dalit Pradhan by the name of Satyameva Jayate was called away on Independence Day-eve by a few upper caste villagers and killed. Some of them returned to boast about the killing.
“What kind of dictatorship is this that we are not allow to condole a death ? Which law prevents us from visiting the family? Under whose orders are you detaining us,” fumed Lallu (see video) while Raut said as chairman of the AICC’s SC cell, he was going to meet the families of the Pradhan and the eight year old boy who was crushed under a vehicle during the protests that erupted.
“I was not going to address any meeting and the UP Government had been informed of my plans in advance,” reiterated Raut while saying that he had the right to express solidarity with people who were victims of violence and oppression. “I wanted to extend help to the families but the UP Government did not allow me to do so,” he fumed.
The Pradhan, he said, was a Congress worker and he was prevented for no rhyme or reason to call on the bereaved family.
“I am not named in a single case for inciting people. Did they find any illegal arm in my vehicle? Any objectionable material? Then why did they take me into custody,” he asked.