After seven members of a Dalit family were allegedly beaten up for skinning a dead cow in Gir Somnath district on Monday, Dalits took out a rally on Wednesday and blocked traffic in the main square of Una town of the district for the second day, protesting the alleged assault on the members of their community by gau rakshaks even as police arrested two more accused in the case.
Hundreds of Dalits took out a rally and later occupied Trikon Baug, the main square in Una, for around an hour. After the police intervened and tried to persuade them, the protesters dispersed and allowed vehicluar movement. Later, a delegation of the community went to the office of Una mamlatdar and submitted a memorandum. “They have demanded that the gau rakshaks who attacked and insulted their community members on Monday, despite knowing it very well that skinning cattle carcasses was their traditional occupation, be thrashed publicly,” Una mamlatdar Kalyu Solanki told The Indian Express.
The incident happened in Mota Samadhiyala village, some 20 km away from Una town. The assailants, identifying themselves as gau rakshaks, allegedly attacked Balu Sarvaiya, his sons Vashram and Ramesh, wife Kunvar, Bechar Sarvaiya and Ashko Sarvaiya while they were skinning a dead cow on Monday morning. In his complaint, Vashram had identified the assailants as Pramodgiri Goswami, Balvant Goswami, Ramesh Jadav, Rakesh Joshi and Nagji Ahir. Vashram had named one Rasik as accused number five. But police Wednesday said he was not part of the group that attacked the Dalits.
Meanwhile, police arrested Balvant and Pramodgiri late on Tuesday night, taking the number of arrests in the case to five. They were produced in a local court in Una on Wednesday and the court sent them to police custody for two days. “Now, all the five accused have been arrested and presently they are in our custody. A post-mortem of the cow has been done and samples sent for forensic examination to know if it was slaughtered or died due to some other reason,” said Kiritikumar Joshi, deputy superintendent (SC, ST Cell) of Gir Somnath police.
Meanwhile, Additional Director General of Police (Prevention of Atrocities on SC/ST) P B Gondia has sought a report from the Superintendent of Police (SP) Gir Somnath. “A report has been sought from the Gir Somnath SP which will be submitted to this office by tomorrow (Thursday) morning. Based on this report, required action will be taken, providing justice to the victims,” said ADGP (Prevention of Atrocities on SC/ST) P B Gondia.