Taking a strong view of the growing attacks on Dalits in the country, the Republican Party of India on Friday demanded that the Dalits be given firearms for self-defence.
If police and government were unable to stop targetting of Dalits, they should issue licensed firearms to the Dalits for their protection, RPI president Ramdas Athavale said in Nagpur.
The MP said attacks on Dalits took place during the UPA government's rule also and continued under the NDA government rule. "So there is no option for the Dalits but to defend themselves," he said.
Athavale and RPI executive president Uttam Khobragade also criticised union minister V.K. Singh for using an analogy of dogs while commenting on Thursday on the killing of two children of a Dalit family in a Haryana village.
"That a person like V.K. Singh, who was once the army chief, should make such a statement is indeed regrettable. I shall speak to union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to arm Dalits," Athavale said.
Taking umbrage at V.K. Singh's remarks, Uttam Khobragade in Mumbai demanded that the union minister be booked under the law meant to prevent atrocities against Dalits.
The duo listed several incidents of violence and atrocities against Dalits across the country in the past few years, including in Maharashtra, to justify their demand for arming Dalits.