Dalit Adhikar Manch (DAM), a group of Dalit rights activists, Tuesday demanded that when there was a special legislation for the protection of cows in the state, Gujarat government should declare various private cow protection committees which allegedly indulge in anti-social activities in the name of cow protection as illegal.
Addressing a press conference, DAM made this demand with reference to the alleged assault on Dalits by some persons who identified themselves as gau rakshaks in Una of Gir Somnath district on July 11. They also released a Fact Finding Report by eight members of DAM who visited Una to inquire into the incident.
Kaushik Parmar of DAM said that while the Dalits were traditionally skinning dead cows, the so-called gau rakshaks had beaten them up in ‘Talibani’ style. Alleging the clear collusion of police in the entire episode where private persons took law into their hands, not only beating up the Dalits, but also capturing the act on camera, Parmar demanded an inquiry by a commission headed by a sitting High Court judge into the case.
Parmar added that when four policemen have been suspended, it was clear that they were negligent in their duties. “So, there should be a criminal complaint against responsible police officers under the provisions of Section 4 of the latest amended Atrocity Act and the IPC.”
The group also demanded Rs 10 lakh each compensation for the victims from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund since their human dignity was openly violated in the incident.
Meanwhile, Dalit Panthers of Gujarat Tuesday gave a call for a state-wide bandh on Wednesday in protest against the brutal thrashing of Dalit youths in Una town of Gir-Somnath district last week.
Various organisations such as the Jan Sangharsh Manch and Dalit Movement of India have supported the call. “Dalit Panthers of Gujarat has given a Gujarat bandh call tomorrow to protest against the atrocities on dalits in Una town. More than ten organisations have supported our call,” said General Secretary of Gujarat Dalit Panthers Rahul Parmar.
The state has been witnessing widespread protests following the incident at Una where seven Dalit youths were beaten up for allegedly skinning a dead cow.
The protests have turned violent in the last two days. State transport buses have been targeted by angry protesters while 10 Dalits have tried to end their lives as a part of the protests.
With PTI inputs