Agitation by Dalits in Ahmedabad


Ahmedabad: On Sunday more than 10,000 Dalits collected here in demonstrate of power to send out a communiqué that the community will no longer admit any form of massacre by upper castes. A 23-year-old Dalit, Yogesh Sarikhada, who had consumed pesticide to agitation the whipping of four Dalits youths by a cow vigilante group in Saurashtra, died in hospital. At the enormous congregation, organised by the Dalit community and several Dalit squads and followers, community leaders banged the State administration and also Dalit political leaders from the BJP and Congress for deteriorating to defend their rights. On July 11 Jitu Sarvaiya, whose brother was amongst the four youths beaten in Mota Samadhiyala village close to Una town has also further conveyed that, we were hurt by the assault on us for skinning a dead animal which we have been doing for centuries, but at present, seeing this protest which has participants from across the State, I am ecstatic to see the assault on us has at least united the community.

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From August 5 the society leaders declare a padayatra from Ahmedabad to Mota Samadhiyala. The Dalits also cautioned the State administration to ensure their protection or face their ire in the congregation polls subsequently year. Dalit activist and one of the organisers of the rally, Jignesh Mevani has also further conveyed that, I advise you all to give up disposing of dead animals and onslaught sewerage lines. We will not do such works and face attack and flogging. We will insist that the administration must allot us agriculture land so that we can lead a respectable life. Other demands uttered by the Dalits and fascinatingly supported by the minority community, which also faces harassment from self styled cow vigilante groups include stringent action against those who have been arrested for the Una attack, withdrawal of cases lodged against Dalit members for protesting the incident and also weapons license or martial training to the Dalits for their self protection.

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