Sunil Jadav, Dalit author and journalist, on Friday returned his ‘Mahatma Phule Shreshta Dalit Patrakar Award’ to the Gujarat government, protesting incidents of atrocities on Dalits in the state. Jadav joined a rally — organised by the Rajkot unit of Bhim Army — to the office of District Collector Vikrant Pandey. He later returned the award, presented to him in 2011, and also the citation and a cheque worth Rs 25,000, which he had received as part of the award, to the district collector.
In a letter addressed to the CM, Jadav (43) said: “The central and the state governments have failed to protect Dalits. I am extremely pained by the Una atrocities… and the recent killings of and atrocities on Dalits in Saharanpur and Shabbirpur. The Gujarat government has failed to protect Dalits after the Una incident and as a result incidents of atrocities on Dalits are going up.”