Ahmedabad: Months before the Gujarat Assembly election, Dalits, a year after the Una incident, are once again up in arms against the government, alleging the atrocities against their community continue unabated. Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch is already planning a number of protests in the days to come.
A Dalit was lynched by the upper caste Patel community for watching people do the garba, the traditional Gujarati dance, on Saturday last week, while another was beaten up on Sunday in the Gandhinagar district by Rajputs for sporting a moustache.
The response to the Sunday incident is palpable on social media, with people posting selfies on Twitter and Facebook, showing off their moustaches.
Bharatsinh Vaghela, a Rajput by caste, beat up Krunal Maheriya, a Dalit, in North Gujarat's Limbodara village. He was arrested on Sunday after a complaint was registered. A few Dalit activists alleged that a similar incident had occurred in the same village a week ago, too, and police had refused to file an FIR.
“We have had over 1000 people from the Dalit community posting pictures of themselves with moustaches on Facebook alone in the past three days. The number will keep increasing,” Gautam Makwana, who posted his selfie with a moustache, told News18.
A social media user posted this photo sporting a moustache, protesting against atrocities on Dalits.
Gautam added that his campaign will gain momentum, and it was high time the plight of Dalits was brought to everybody's notice.
Twenty-one-year-old Jayesh Solanki, another Dalit, was beaten to death by eight upper caste villagers in Bhadarniya village of Anand district. One Sanjay Patel alias Bhima and others banged his head into a wall. Either people have been arrested in connection with the case.
Superintendent of Police, Anand district, Saurabh Singh said that all accused have been arrested, adding, “Police have registered an offence based on the version of the victim’s family members and all the eight accused have been arrested. There was an altercation between the accused and victim over why the victim was sitting near the garba venue.”
Dipak Solanki, a relative of the victim, said – “Bhima and others came and asked him why he was sitting there. They beat him up and Bhima even tried to strangulate him. We first took him to Borsad and then to a hospital in Karamsad.”