NEW DELHI: The Congress attacked the ruling BJP today over a report that Dalits in a Madhya Pradesh district will have to inform the police in advance if there is a marriage in their family, saying that they are being treated as "second-class citizens" in the country in the current dispensation.
"It is very strange and shameful that this is happening in independent India. The Dalits have been treated as second-class citizens under the BJP government," senior Congress leader PL Punia said at a press conference here.
According to media reports, Dalits in Ujjain district of Madhya Pradesh will have to inform the police three days in advance if there is a wedding in their family in villages under their jurisdiction, the Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh said.
Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue, Punia said Modi is doing "Ambedkar jaap (chant) drama", at a time the violence and discrimination against the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes by BJP workers are continuing unabated.
"The atrocities against Dalits now have reached ridiculous heights, reminiscent of the horrid practice of untouchability and ghettoisation," he said, citing various instances of harassment and atrocities committed against the Dalits under the ruling BJP.
Commenting on reports that a Dalit boy was mercilessly thrashed in Meerut recently, Punia hit out at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, alleging that atrocities against the SCs have gone up in the state since he came to power.
"Under BJP's watch, a Dalit suffers an atrocity every 12 minutes. Every day, 6 Dalit women are raped," he said, citing National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data. Even 5 BJP parliamentarians have had expressed dismay and anguish on the "absolute ill-treatment" to the SC/ST community in the country, he added.