Dalits were attacked in Samter Village of Una Taluka in Gir Somanth District on Tuesday. The attack killed atleast 20 persons and arrested six others.
According to police, a mob of around 1,000 persons had blocked National Highway 8E at Samter village Monday evening when Dalits were returning after participating in Dalit Asmita Yatra in Una town. The mob threw stones on police and Dalits, injuring many.
“Seven policemen, including Una’s police inspector and Veraval’s DySP, have been injured. We are investigating as to how many Dalits were injured in the violence. We have arrested 20 persons today and detained six others who are injured and are undergoing treatment in hospitals,” said H R Chaudhary, Gir Somnath SP. Chaudhary.
“State Reserve Police and local police continue to be deployed at Samter. The situation is peaceful,” he said.
A case was filed by Veraval Dy SP K N Patel against 37 persons for assaulting public, doing murder.
“Jasvantsinh Bhatti, a 20-year-old from Samter village, has a bullet injury in his thigh while Bapubha Gohil, 40, also form Samter, has a broken nose,” said Dr Tansukh Solanki, resident medical officer of Junagadh civil hospital.
On July 11, atleast four police personals were killed and four others were injured in clashes at the village. Moreover, seven Dalits were beaten by a mob for skinning a dead cow. Currently, 36 dalits have been arrested from Samter district.
Prakash Parmar, a Dalit resident of Samter, said over phone: “I have been calling local police for protection but to no avail. Today, they came only after the attack on Dalits returning from the sammelan.”
“Police fired six rounds in the air at Samter village to disperse the mob,” said Junagadh range IG Brajesh Jha.
“In both villages, police lobbed more than ten tear gas shells to disperse the mob. The situation is under control and the roads that were blocked due to the violence have been opened,” said Jha.
On August 5, the Dalit yatra was released from Ahmedabad which alleged that “rail roko” agitation will be launched after a month if the Gujarat government did not give five acres of land to each Dalit family. Dalit Leader Jignesh Mevani addressed the Rally which had a gathering of around 6,000 people.