New Delhi, Aug. 11 : Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said rising incidents of Dalit atrocities are a challenge before the society and government is committed to prevent it and empower the community through development.
Replying to a five-hour long discussion in Lok Sabha on the atrocities against Dalits in the country, Singh sought cooperation of all political parties and the state governments in this regard.
Urging the parties not to politicise the issue, the Home Minister said law and order is a state subject and his ministry has issued an advisory to the states to take strict action against those involved in committing crimes against dalits in the name of cow protection.
On criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi not speaking in Parliament on the issue, Singh wanted to know from the opposition how many Prime Ministers in the past have spoken on every issue.
Quoting Swami Vivekananda, the Home Minister said India cannot progress unless its poor and downtrodden are empowered.
He said the Constitution has provision to empower dalits, but there is a need to do more things in this regard.
Singh said the Modi government has taken several new initiatives to empower dalits which were unheard of previously.
Referring to the Una incident of Gujarat where Dalits were attacked, Singh said the incident is condemnable and the state government made arrests in the case and also suspended some police officials for dereliction of duties.
The Congress members dissatisfied with the reply, staged a walkout from the Lok Sabha..