JAIPUR/BARMER: Drawing a parallel with Rohith Vemula case, Rahul Gandhi today supported the demand for a CBI probe made by the family of a 17-year-old Dalit girl, who was allegedly raped and found dead under mysterious circumstances, and accused BJP and RSS of discriminating against Dalits.
The Congress Vice President, who visited the grieving family of the girl 'Delta' in Tirmohi village in Barmer, said they have lost faith in the state government and police, and want a CBI inquiry. He alleged that just like Vemula's suicide incident, the authorities were trying to suppress this case.
"The father of the girl has no faith on the government and the state police and wants a CBI inquiry. He is demanding nothing but justice for his daughter and now it is the responsibility of the Chief Minister to ensure justice by referring the case to CBI," Gandhi said.
He also attacked the Vasundhara Raje government alleging that the Chief Minister was showing apathy as the case was related to a Dalit.
Both Congress and BJP want schools and education for the people but "the difference is that BJP and RSS people want to do discrimination with Dalit but the Congress wants Dalits to sit with all, to run schools, to become principals in schools and even want Dalits to run the country," he said.
"A delegation comprised of both Congress and BJP MLAs met the Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje to demand justice for the girl. I am told that the CM asked them to not waste her time by talking for the girl's case," Gandhi said while addressing a Dalit conference in Jaipur.
Gandhi raked up the issue of alleged suicide by Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad Central University on which he had vociferously attacked the BJP-led government at the Centre.
"In Bikaner, the Dalit girl was murdered but the police and government saying it was suicide. In Rohith Vermula's case of Hyderabad, Union Minister Sushma Swaraj said that he was not a Dalit. These cases are being suppressed," he said.
"Rohit Vermula s case was that of murder and it was done by the government of India.
"In Barmer, I met with the family of the girl who was the daughter of a teacher who wanted her children to be educated and named his daughter as 'Delta' but she was murdered.
"He is demanding nothing but justice for his daughter," Gandhi said.
He said the girl's father showed him a letter, forwarded by the chief minister, saying that his daughter Delta's painting is at display in her office.
"The girl was so bright, intelligent and won prizes and now the chief minister is showing indifferent attitude."
The girl was allegedly found in the room of physical trainer and instructor Vijendra Singh on the night of March 29 by the hostel warden and next morning she was found dead in the water tank.
After her parents lodged an FIR, Singh was arrested on March 31 for allegedly raping the girl. Later, the hostel warden and the principal were also arrested under POCSO act for failing to inform the police when they found the girl in the instructor's room.
Referring to the postmortem report, Bikaner District Police said she died after drowning in the water tank.
Police have ruled out the possibility of murder in the case.
Gandhi was accompanied by state Congress chief Sachin Pilot to the village, where he reached by road after arriving in a plane at Uttarlai air base in Barmer.
"I have asked Sachin (Pilot) not to relent or step back even a single inch till CBI inquiry is ordered in this case," he said.
The Congress Vice President spent nearly half an hour with the girl's family, in presence of relatives and other locals, outside their one-room house where a tent was erected.
The girl's father, Mahendra Ram Meghwal, demanded a CBI inquiry into the case, saying he has no faith and confidence in the probe conducted by the state police.
"The government's attitude is apathetic and police is also trying to dilute the case. It was a murder but police is saying it was suicide. I have no faith in the investigation of the local police, therefore, I demand a CBI inquiry for an impartial probe.
"I want justice for my daughter and that will be only through impartial investigation.
The local police is diluting the case, the state government has neglected our demand but Rahul Gandhi listened to it," he said while expressing hope that Gandhi would raise the issue.
"I wanted my daughter to be well educated so I allowed her to go to Bikaner for the course. She was a bright and intelligent girl but she was murdered," he said.