Dalits in Gujarat to launch mega rail roko if demand not met

Dalits take pledge not to dispose cow carcasses or skin a dead bovine for leather.

By: PTI | Una | Updated: August 15, 2016 6:09 pm
Una : JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar along with Rohit Vemula's mother and brother and Dalit community members during a solidarity rally in Una on Monday. PTI Photo (PTI8_15_2016_000344B) Una : JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar along with Rohit Vemula’s mother and brother and Dalit community members during a solidarity rally in Una on Monday. (Source: PTI)

Vowing to intensify their agitation at a protest rally on Independence day, the Dalit community in Gujarat Monday said they will 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.

As thousands of Dalits gathered in Una on the occasion of the country’s 70th Independence Day where Prime Minister Narendra Modi also came under fire, their leaders sought freedom from atrocities and discrimination, amid chants of “Jai Bhim”.

The tricolor 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. The week-long rally which started from Ahmedabad 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.

Una :  Rohit Vemula's mother and brother with Dalit community members during a solidarity rally in Una on Monday. PTI Photo    (PTI8_15_2016_000348A) Una : Rohit Vemula’s mother and brother with Dalit community members during a solidarity rally in Una on Monday. (Source: PTI Photo)

“You take cow’s tail, give us land,” Jignesh Mavani, a lawyer-turned politician who established the UDALS and led the march, told the huge gathering. “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,” Mavani said.

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 said, “The sheer scale of protests had forced him to speak out on the issue. Modi did not speak a word when three youths were killed in police firing in Thangadh town in 2012, another incident of Dalit atrocity.”

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,” he said. Radhika Vemula in her address said, “I have not got justice for my son. He had to commit suicide just because he was Dalit.

Members of India’s low-caste Dalit community salute the Indian flag they hoisted as they gather for a rally in Una, Gujarat state, India, Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. The Dalits have been protesting since four men belonging to their community were beaten while trying to skin a dead cow in July near this western Indian town. Videos of the four being stripped and beaten with sticks by men claiming to be cow protectors in Gujarat state had gone viral and sparked protests by Dalit groups across India. The Dalits, belong to the lowest rung of Hinduism's caste hierarchy. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki) Members of Dalit community salute the Indian flag they hoisted as they gather for a rally in Una. (Source: AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

“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.” Muslim community members came in large numbers to support the Dalit community in their campaign. Slogans like “Dalits-Muslims bhai bhai” were heard at the gathering. As many as seven members of Dalit community from Mota Samadhiyala village in Una taluk in Gir Somnath district were on July 11 brutally assaulted by some self-styled cow vigilantes for skinning a dead cow. Among others who attended the flag hoisting event at Una were documentary film maker Anand Patwardhan.

The other demands of Dalits included banishment of each of the accused arrested in the Una atrocity incident under PASA and arrest of others who were seen in the videos participating in the beating of Dalits in the Una incident. They also demanded alternative employment options from government to Dalits who have pledged to not dispose of carcasses of dead animals, which they said should be first discussed in the coming session of the state assembly.

Muslims and hundreds of members of India’s low-caste Dalit community gather for a rally in Una, Gujarat state, India, Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. The Dalits have been protesting since four men belonging to their community were beaten while trying to skin a dead cow in July near this western Indian town. Videos of the four being stripped and beaten with sticks by men claiming to be cow protectors in Gujarat state had gone viral and sparked protests by Dalit groups across India. The Dalits, belong to the lowest rung of Hinduism's caste hierarchy. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki) Muslims and hundreds of members of India’s low-caste Dalit community gather for a rally in Una, Gujarat. (Source: AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

They also demanded revocation of “frivolous cases” filed against Dalit agitators during demonstrations in the aftermath of the Una incident. The agitators also demanded arrest of absconding accused in the September 2012 Thangadh incident in which three Dalit youths were killed. They also asked for reopening of the case and trial be conducted in special designated case.

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  1. A
    Am.I.Right
    Aug 15, 2016 at 2:00 pm
    Dalits are yet to get their independence from Brahmins.
    Reply
    1. A
      Amar Akbar
      Aug 15, 2016 at 4:49 pm
      We believed you Kachoriwala and voted for you in Delhi. You got 95% of the seats even though you ran away before that. Then we find out Bagoda Kachoriwal is even worse than Congress and much much worse than BJP. He did nothing in Delhi. Today he keeps blaming and more blaming and more bull daily while he is the CM of Delhi. Then why did he take my vote if he cannot perform. Don't want to hear excuses. First make Delhi a world cl city or resign and run just like last time. Enough of your stupidity I meant our stupidity that we believed Bagoda Kachoriwala. While we are hurting you are enjoying in CM bungalow. Didn't you tell us you will not use government house? While Anna still lives in a single room in a temple you are having multiple cars house big office. Where is AAM Common man in AAM Aadmi Kachoriwal?
      Reply
      1. S
        Srividya Jayaraman
        Aug 15, 2016 at 11:13 pm
        If Dalits are having problems whya 're they working in Brahmins.house. No one.forces them.to.work. They want money from.Brahmins and also.want to abuse then.
        Reply
        1. S
          Srividya Jayaraman
          Aug 15, 2016 at 11:10 pm
          May be you must be doing that.
          Reply
        2. S
          Srividya Jayaraman
          Aug 15, 2016 at 10:55 pm
          Our forefathers worked hard and came up in life unlike Dalits even after 70 years of quota cannot come up in life and shedding crocodile years and self pity. May be you must also be one of the beggars who cannot achieve and must blame Brahmins and upper caste and live on freebies of the government.
          Reply
          1. S
            Srividya Jayaraman
            Aug 15, 2016 at 11:09 pm
            Who is stopping Dalits from not working or not starting business like upper caste. After 69 years of quota provides by the government od they cannot come up whose fault it is? Even for.cleaning this does cascade Brahmins doesn't depend on these Dalits. Very soon they will invent some macho as to clean these toilets. Then also.these Dalits will.cry that these Brahmins are not.providing.job. For Dalits their main enemy is their Dalit community itself. The rich Dalit.doesn't are.their poor Dalit to come.up. We Brahmins doesn't depend on these Dalits.and people.like you says blame Brahmins due to your incapabliity to come.up in life. There are.many Brahmins.Who are poor but they don't sit and cry and they make effort to work hard.
            Reply
            1. S
              Srividya Jayaraman
              Aug 15, 2016 at 11:02 pm
              You pigs are nothing only nuisance to the country and may be your mother may not be even allowed to do that. What are you doing. Even you are drinking milk provides by the cows and moron like you sent to Syria.
              Reply
              1. K
                Kumarpushp
                Aug 15, 2016 at 4:42 pm
                120 million dalits should join with 120 million muslims to give two fingers to Modi and his hindu led government.Modi and his gujrat government has dig ponds in Gujrat soon stani will swim in that ponds then dalits will get justice in India.DALITS MUSLIMS BHAI BHAI HINDU KAUM KAHA SE AAI.
                Reply
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