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Thursday, January 27, 2022

In FB live on untouchability against Dalits in Botad, Jignesh Mevani seeks action

Mevani also spoke to a senior IPS officer to do the needful to stop untouchability in the village.

By: Express News Service |
Updated: December 25, 2021 3:52:24 am
Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani

Following complaints of untouchability against Dalits of a village in Botad district of Saurashtra region, independent MLA from Vadgam constituency Jignesh Mevani went live on Facebook Friday recording his interaction with a food hawker and some priests of a village temple. Mevani also spoke to a senior IPS officer to do the needful to stop untouchability in the village.

Mevani, who was in Mandavdhar village of Gadhada tehsil of Botad district to attend an event on social harmony, was reportedly told that the Dalits in the village were allegedly facing untouchability in various forms such as barber not cutting their hair, no entry in village temple, separate glasses for them at a cold drink vendor, food stall owner not serving food to them at the stall, etc,

Mevani went live on Facebook and personally visited a pav-bhaji stall to verify the complaints. He also asked two Dalit community members to have pav-bhaji at the stall. A police sub-inspector was also seen accompanying the Vadgam MLA.

In his interaction with Mevani, the pav-bhaji stall owner admitted that the complaint received by the former that Dalits were being provided food in parcel and
not served at the spot at the instance of some villagers was true.

Mevani is seen warning the stall owner to discontinue the practice adding that it is illegal and that if repeated, an offence can be registered against him.
Mevani then visited a village temple along with a number of Dalits and spent a few minutes inside the same. He is also seen conveying the complaints of the Dalits that they are not allowed entry inside the temple to the priests present in the temple.

Subsequently, Mevani spoke to Additional Director General of Police (SC/ST Cell) Vikas Sahay over the issue and requested him to do the needful and to ensure that no untoward incident happens in the village.

Speaking with The Indian Express, Sahay said, “He (Mevani) had made certain representation regarding (untouchability) in a village. And I have talked to the concerned district superintendent of police.” Botad superintendent of police Harshad Mehta could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

Mevani said, “At present, we have not asked to register any offence. After 15 days, the situation in the village will be reviewed and if it does not improve, we will lodge a complaint. At present, I have asked (the police) to ensure that no untoward incident happens in the village.”

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