Indian lawmakers in uproar over attacks on lower castes


NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s parliament is in uproar after four men belonging to the low-caste Dalit community were beaten while trying to skin a dead cow in western India.

Lawmakers from the opposition parties Wednesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government of failing to protect the Dalits, who belong to the lowest rung of Hinduism’s caste hierarchy.

Videos of the four men being stripped and beaten with sticks by men claiming to be cow protectors in Gujarat state have gone viral and have sparked protests by Dalit groups across the state.

Hindus consider cows to be sacred and the slaughter of cows is banned in many parts of India.

Attacks against Muslims and Dalits accused of eating or smuggling beef have risen since Modi’s Hindu-nationalist party came to power two years ago.