Dalits storm Mayor's office


AHMEDABAD, DEC 6: A large group of dalits from the city stormed into the office of Mayor Himmatsinh Patel on Wednesday evening, angry that the statue of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar was not washed and cleaned before the death anniversary of Dr Ambedkar observed on Wednesday. Congress councillor Jayantilal Parmar, who is also a standing committee member, claimed that when he and Deputy Mayor Khemchand Solanki went to the statue located at Saharanpur Circle today morning to offer floral tributes, they found the statue had not been cleaned. Further more, the area around the statue was strewn with garbage, stones and dry leaves.

Angered by this, a large number of dalits took out a rally in the evening and arrived at the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) building. They shouted slogans against the Mayor and other municipal corporation officials, stating that they had shown disregard for Dr Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution.

Adopting a tough stance, dalit leaders in the municipal corporation said that they would hold a meeting on Thursday morning to decide the future course of action. Dalits will also take out a rally from the statue of Ambedkar to the AMC at 3:30 pm on Thursday.

Parmar also demanded that one particular official be assigned the task of ensuring that all statues of national leaders kept at various places in the city are cleaned on their birth and death anniversaries.

However, matters threatened to get out of control when irate dalits stormed their way into the office of the Mayor after they were escorted by a huge posse of cops to the AMC building. Many were seen grappling with the security personnel who prevented them from entering the Mayor's office while some stood on the first floor lobby and hurled abuses at the Mayor and municipal officials for not having respect for Dr B R Ambedkar.

BJP spokesman Jagdish Bhavsar, meanwhile, has criticised the Congress for not showing respect to Dr Ambedkar on his death anniversary. Bhavsar said in a statement that while the Congress, which has played the dalit card for decades, has failed to give due respect to Dr Ambedkar on his death anniversary.

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