Ahmedabad: Over a 100 volunteers of The Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch were detained by the police in Mehsana District of Gujarat on Wednesday during a planned protest rally to mark a year of the Una Dalit flogging case.
Those detained by the police include Kanhaiya Kumar and Jignesh Mevani, convener of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch. Several volunteers of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, the Khedut Samaj and other organisations were also detained by the police.
Despite having sought permission for the Azaadi March or the ‘Azaadi Kuch’ as they call it, the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch was not granted permission to organise the rally from Mehsana to Unjha in North Gujarat.
There was massive outrage among the Dalit community in Gujarat after the Una flogging incident last year and several dalits even attempted to convert to other religions saying that they do not belong to Hinduism. Speaking at the rally, Kumar sought an answer from the Prime Minister asking whether the 800 plus farmers who committed suicide in Madhya Pradesh in the past one year were Hindus or not.
Mevani said that despite having sought permission for the Azaadi Kuch in advance, police of Mehsana District did not grant permission on instructions of Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel. He added that the democratic rights of citizens to protest were being stifled by the Gujarat government.