Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah on Saturday expressed shock over a news report which said that 52 people from the Dalit and tribal communities had been kept enslaved in Karnataka’s Hassan.
Shah used the report to slam the Congress-JD(S) government in the state saying that these people were made to suffer while the government is busy with cabinet expansion.
The BJP president also urged workers of his party to help the distressed.
“Shocking that members from Dalit & Tribal communities were enslaved and made to suffer in the most inhuman conditions, but the Congress-JDS govt is busy with cabinet expansion! People are watching. I urge our karyakartas to help the people in distress,” Shah said in his tweet which also contained the two-day-old report.
According to a report published by News18, 52 people from the two communities, including 16 women and four children, were enslaved and forced to work for 19 hours a day without wages. The victims include two six-year-old boys.
Protests by these people were met with beatings and women being sexually harassed, it said.
Police arrested two persons in connection with the case. The report says that an FIR has been lodged under sections 323, 324 (wrongful confinement), 344 (theft), 356 (sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Bonded Labour System (Abolition Act) and the SC, ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act).
Shah’s tweet came on the day when the alliance government in Karnataka is going for a cabinet expansion with six Congress legislators set to join Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s team.
“The JD-S-Congress cabinet will be expanded tomorrow (Saturday) evening with the induction of six more legislators from our party to fill the vacancies in the 34-member ministry,” Congress state unit chief Dinesh Gundu Rao told reporters in New Delhi on Friday.
Currently, the Cabinet has eight vacancies – six from the Congress quota of 22 and two from the JD(S) quota of 12.