The victims of the Una flogging submitted a memorandum to sub-divisional magistrate of Una on Tuesday, demanding justice for them and the Dalit community at large and threatened to stage protests in Gandhinagar if their demands were not met.
Led by Balu Sarvaiya, one of the seven victims, a small groups of Dalits gathered in Una town on Monday. After garlanding a statue of BR Ambedkar in Ambedkar Chowk of te town, the Dalits marched in form of rally to the office of Una SDM and submitted him a memorandum. The memorandum stated that the victims of the atrocities had not received financial help, land, jobs etc promised by the government soon after the incident on July 11 last year.
The memorandum alleged that the government had not helped those Dalits who died in protest of the Una incident while it had frammed others in cases by adopting an atrocious attitude during violence that broke out after flogging of July 11. The memorandum also claimed despite an announcement by then chief minister Aandiben Patel, the government had not constituted a special court for trying the flogging case.
“If our representations are not considered in due time, we, the members of victim Dalit family, shall be forced to sit on fast on October 25,” the memorandum warned.
“We don’t have enough land nor do we have any job which can help us earn a living. No special court has been set up despite it having been announced a year ago. Nor is CID (crime) is guiding us in fighting the case and majority of the accused are now out on bail,” Balu’s son Vashram, who was one of the four Dalits who were kidnapped and beten up said. Vashram said that they will also meet Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in next couple of days and submit him a memorandum personally.
Seven Dalits were allegedly beaten up by gaurakshaks while they were skinning a dead cow in Mota Samadhiyala village of Una taluka in Gir Somnath district on July 11, 2016. The cow vigilantes had assaulted them physically accusing the Dalits of cow slaughter. Later, the accused had kidnapped Balu’s sons Vashram and Ramesh, nephew Ashok and relative Bechar, took them to Una and flogged them publicly. Videos of the beating had gone viral on social medial leading to a national outcry.
In the memorandum, the Dalits also warned that they will convert to other religion en masse “given the anti-Dalit approach of the state government and if our demands are not considered.