Dalits

Protesting Dalits take oath not to lift animal carcasses in Gujarat

August 01, 2016 08:02 AM
Dalits protest against atrosties in Gujarat

AHMEDABAD: Thousands of Dalits congregated at Acher ground in Sabarmati area here on Sunday in protest against Una brutalities and pledged to break free from shackles of the centuries-old practice+ of disposing of animal carcasses. They also took an oath not to clean the underbelly of cities by getting into manholes.

"In model Gujarat, over 15,500 cases of atrocities were lodged and Dalits kicked out from 55 villages. Why is PM Narendra Modi silent on these atrocities. Why has he not come to share our pain," said Jignesh Mevani, convener of UDALS.



The simmering anger was palpable at the 'Dalit Mahasammelan' organized by theUna Dalit Atyachar Ladat Samiti (UDALS) as Dalits roared slogans of 'Jai Bheem' amid heavy police bandobast, sending a stern message to the state government through the mega gathering. Dalits were supported by Muslim organizations like Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind.

"In model Gujarat, over 15,500 cases of atrocities were lodged and Dalits kicked out from 55 villages. Why is PM Narendra Modi silent on these atrocities. Why has he not come to share our pain," said Jignesh Mevani, convener of UDALS.

"Gujarat's Dalits' revolutionary decision to shun menial work will change the state of their brethren across India," said Mevani.

Dalit activists also expressed their lack of faith in Gujarat police. "The CID (crime) investigating Una brutalities had investigated killing of four Dalits in Thangadh. No justice was done. CID submits its report to DGP who himself is an accused in Ishrat Jahan encounter," said Mevani. "Our family's pain has become a source of happiness as it has galvanized the Dalit community for an uprising," said Jeetu Sarvaiya, a relative of Una victims.

Former IPS officer Rahul Sharma, who had taken on Modi government in Gujarat over 2002 riots, gave a clarion call for a protest march. "My head hangs in shame over Una atrocities. This is a fallout of divisive politics. I propose a footmarch from Ahmedabad to Una from August 5. Let's hoist the tri-colour on August 15 at Una for freedom from social oppression," said Sharma.

"Since years, Muslims and Dalits have been tortured by gau-rakshaks. The movement should continue till businesses run in the garb of cow protection are not banned," said Shamshad Pathan, a city-based lawyer.

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