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Lucknow: Dalits face ire of ‘cow vigilantes’ in the city

The Dalit community members of Lucknow have decided not to lift carcasses till they were issued such identity cards to ensure their security.

By: PTI | Lucknow |
August 2, 2016 6:43:37 pm
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After Gujarat, Dalits in Lucknow shudder to touch a dead cow to skin it for a living after “gau rakshaks” (vigilantes) thrashed two of their community members on suspicion of cow slaughter in Lucknow last week.

Scared of being beaten up, some members of the community approached their contractors to take up their case with the Lucknow Municipal Corporation or other authorities after some of them were assaulted in Takrohi area in Indira Nagar here on July 28.

“We are aware of the matter and have lodged a complaint with the police against unidentified persons,” Additional Municipal Commissioner Avaneesh Saxena told PTI.

He said the Lucknow Municipal Corporation has also requested police and the district administration to provide security to them so that they can lift carcasses and skin them. He said as an immediate precautionary measure, photo identity cards would be issued to contractual workers engaged in such task.

The community members have decided not to lift carcasses till they were issued such identity cards to ensure their security. There have been complaints of increased attacks on the Dalit community members in the city in the past six months. They have been attacked while transporting a dead cow on the civic body’s call to lift dead animals so that these do not rot in front of people’s houses.

They have often complained that when they go to dispose of the carcasses after skinning them, they are attacked by cow vigilantes who charge them with slaughtering the animal.

Last week, seven members of a dalit family were beaten up in by a group of Gau rakshaks for skinning a dead cow in Una town of Gir Somnath district in Gujarat.
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A purported video of the victims being attacked with iron rods and sticks was circulated on social media attracting widespread criticism of the flogging of the Dalit men.

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