A Dalit died while two others were hospitalised after they allegedly attempted suicide by consuming poison to press for their demand for land opposite district collector’s office in Junagadh on Monday night.
The three Dalit men, from Sandha village in Mangrol taluka of Junagadh district, attempted suicide, demanding that the government allot them land as a means of subsistence. They were part of a group of families from Sandha who had been camping outside the collectorate for the last few days, demanding land for agriculture. The trio were rushed to a local hospital. From there, Parbat Parmar (50), one of the three men, was refereed to Rajkot civil hospital for further treatment. He died in the Rajkot hospital late Monday night while undergoing treatment, Junagadh police said.
The two other Dalits who attempted suicide were identified as Jignesh Rathod and Chandu Parmar. Police said that the conditions of the two are stable. Parbat is survived by six daughters and a son.
The Dalits of Sandha village have been sitting on protest outside Junagadh collector’s office since October 13. “One of the three Dalits who attempted suicide by consuming poisonous substance has died. The other two are being given treatment in Junagadh and their condition is out of danger. The trio were part of a group of Dalits who had been camping outside the collector’s office with some demands related to revenue department. They have ended their protest after discussion with revenue authorities,” Junagadh SP Nilesh Jajadiya said.
Junagadh collector Rahul Gupta could not be reached for comment. Sources said he had assured the protesters to look into their demands and solve the issue in a few months.
This is the second suicide by a Dalit man in Saurashtra after seven Dalits were allegedly beaten up by gau rakshaks in Una taluka of Gir Somnath district in July this year. Since then, Dalits across the state have been demanding their “rights”, seeking action against the perpetrators of Una. A youth of Rajkot district had allegedly consumed poison and committed suicide in the immediate aftermath of Una flogging as a mark of protest.