Gujarat Dalit Assault: Head Constable Killed, CM to Meet Victims

Dalit youths were paraded and flogged for allegedly killing a cow in Una district of Gujarat last week. 

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In the wake of violent protests across Gujarat by the Dalit community against the assault on fellow community members for allegedly skinning a cow, Chief Minister Anandiben Patel will visit Una on Wednesday to meet the victims.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi are also scheduled to reach Gujarat in light of the protests.

This comes after a head constable was killed on Tuesday after a mob attacked police with stones, prompting security personnel to lob tear gas shells to disperse them in Amreli town.

Apart from the head constable, 10 other persons including protesters and policemen have been injured.


Govt Offices Vandalised

Several incidents of damage to state transport buses and of road blockades have been reported from different parts of Saurashtra region across Junagadh, Jamnagar, Rajkot and Amreli districts since late on Tuesday night.

A bus was torched in Dhoraji town in Rajkot district and several others were damaged. Protestors allegedly vandalised sheds for Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) in Rajkot.

Earlier on Tuesday, Dalits dumped cow carcasses in government offices, asking ‘Gau Rakshaks’ to dispose of the dead cows, as a sign of protest.

The mob – consisting of Dalits – was protesting against the brutal assault on fellow community members for allegedly skinning a cow at Una last week.

Nine persons have been arrested so far in connection with the assault on Dalits, while three policemen have been suspended for dereliction of duty.

Dalit youths were paraded and flogged for allegedly killing a cow in Una district of Gujarat last week. 
Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel. (Photo: Reuters)

Dalit Youths Attempt Suicide

Dalit youths attempted suicide in two places in Gujarat’s Rajkot district to protest the brutal assault on fellow community members. At Gondal, five Dalit youths – Rajesh Parmar, Ramesh Pardhi, Jagdish Rathod, Bharat Solanki, and Anil Maghad – tried to end their lives by drinking poison near Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s statue in market area of the town. At Jamkandorna in the district, Kishor Solanki and Amrit Parmar tried to commit suicide.

All seven are now being treated in a hospital in Gondal.

They were protesting the brutal assault on fellow Dalit youths in Una town of Gir Somnath district.
Inspector Vijay Chaudhary

KM Joshi, the Deputy Superintendent of Police in Gir Somnath district said that nine persons have been arrested in the Una assault case. Inspector N U Zala and three constables have been suspended.

Last week, Dalit youths were paraded and flogged for allegedly killing a cow. The victims’ claimed that they were only skinning a dead cow and hadn’t killed it.

In Surendranagar, 300 Dalits carried a dead cow and held a protest outside the office of the Collector. They gave a memorandum to the collector demanding action against the culprits in the Una case.


State Action

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Monday ordered a CID probe into the alleged assault on Dalit community members. In addition, she promised to set up a special court for “speedy” trial and ordered appointment of a special public prosecutor, who will be required to submit the chargesheet within 60 days.

The state government will also share the medical expenses of the seven protesting Dalit youths who are undergoing treatment at various government hospitals.

Rs 1 lakh each has been given to the victims as compensation.

The order from the Chief Minister’s office came as the Rajya Sabha witnessed a brief adjournment on the opening day of monsoon session as the Bahujan Samaj Party members trooped into the Well of the House alleging atrocities on Dalits in BJP-ruled Gujarat.

(With inputs from PTI)

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