Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday condemned the attack on four Dalit men who were skinning a dead cow in Una, Gujarat, and said the government was committed to stopping such atrocities. Singh added that it was a serious issue, and that such “atrocities against Dalits” were a “social evil”, reported The Hindu. He also said that nine people have been arrested for the assault, and that four police officials were suspended for negligence in connection with the case. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also condemned the incident, Singh said.

The incident that took place on July 11 echoed in the House on the third day of the Monsoon Session. “Atrocity against Dalits is a social evil. We must take it up as a challenge. I urge all parties to come together to fight this,” the Union minister said.

Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot said the government will take strict action against the accused and that an inquiry had been ordered into the case. Members of both Houses of Parliament brought up the Una incident, and the Rajya Sabha was adjourned several times because of uproar over the assault.

Protests continued across the state on Wednesday with incidents of stone pelting, road blockades and bandhs reported from Saurashtra and north Gujarat regions. While Chief Minister Anandiben Patel met family members of the victims, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi will visit Una town on Thursday, reported PTI.

On Tuesday, sixteen members of the Dalit community, including local Congress leader Anil Madhad, attempted suicide in Saurashtra on Monday and Tuesday as a form of protest against the incident. Protests were also held in other parts of Gujarat.