Una (Gujarat): The Dalit community in Gujarat has vowed to intensify their agitation against atrocities against them across the country. As part of their agitation, they took a pledge not to remove cow carcasses any more.
Thousand of Dalits on Monday organized a protest rally on the eve of 70th Independence Day celebrations. Raising slogans of ‘Jai Bhim,’ thousands of Dalits in Una sought freedom from atrocities and discrimination. They have decided to launch a mega rail roko stir if their demand for granting five acres of land for each family is not met by Gujarat government within one month. Muslim community members came in large numbers to support the Dalit community in their campaign.
Dalits in large numbers reached here after the 10-day long 350-km foot march from Ahmedabad to participate in the protests. The rally was led by Una Dalit Atachiyar Ladat Samiti (UDALS), culminated in Una, the place where some Dalits where brutally beaten by cow vigilantes for skinning a dead cow last month sparking outrage.
However, some Dalits returning after the conclusion of the rally that coincided with the 70th Independence Day were attacked by suspected upper caste people in Samter village in Una in Gir Somnath district.
The Tricolour was jointly unfurled by Radhika Vemula, mother of dalit scholar Rohith Vemula who had committed suicide in Hyderabad, and Balu Sarvaiya, father of one of the victims of Una Dalit flogging incident, in the presence of JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar.
Kanhaiya said the hype of Gujarat Model of development has been punctured by Dalits of the state. “We want freedom from castesim. We will not tolerate any more atrocities on Dalits anywhere in the country. Everybody has to come together to fight against such atrocities.”
Jignesh Mavani, a lawyer-turned politician, said: “You take cow’s tail, give us land.” Mavani has established the UDALS and led the march.
Mevani has also made those who were present at the protests to take a pledge not to be in the business of skinning of cows.
“We have presented our demand before the state government. If you do not accept our demand of giving five acres land to each Dalit family in next one month, we will launch a rail roko agitation,” cautions Mevani. He also made those who were present there to take a pledge not to be in the business of skinning of cows.
Targeting Modi, Mevani further criticized that Modi did not speak a word when three youths were killed in police firing in Thangadh town in 2012, another incident of Dalit atrocity.
Radhika Vemula said, “so far I have not got justice for my son. He had to commit suicide just because he was Dalit. But it is good to see that Dalit movement in Gujarat has forced the chief minister Anandiben Patel to resign. I have come here so that no other Dalit children face what my son had to suffer.”