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Seven Dalits attempt suicide in Gujarat

Seven members of the Dalit community in Gujarat attempted suicide on Monday protesting against the atrocity on them, who were publicly thrashed and brutally assaulted for > allegedly skinning a dead cow in a village in Gujarat on July 11.

On Monday, Dalits held protest rallies in major towns including in Gondal, where five members of the community consumed pesticide while two members consumed it in another town Jamkandorana town.

All seven persons are under treatment in a government hospital. Among those who attempted suicide includes one local Congress leader Anil Madhad in Gondal.

During the protest march in Rajkot, one state transport bus was torched, forcing the state authorities to beef up security during protest rallies.

The incident has snowballed into a major political issue for the Gujarat government, which announced a probe by the CID (crime) into public thrashing and stripping of Dalits and also offered compensation to victims.

The police have arrested nine persons while four policemen, including an inspector, have been suspended for dereliction of duty. The authorities also paid Rs one lakh each to the victims.

Chief Minister Anandiben Patel announced that a “designated court will be set up to expedite the trial and chargesheet will be submitted within 60 days.”

The issue came to light when a purported video showing the persons being beaten up with iron rods and sticks went viral on the Whatsapp and Facebook. In the video, some people are seen chained to a car while the accused are seen thrashing them. Sources said the video was recorded by Pramod Giri Goswami, president of Shiv Sena unit in Gir Somnath district and head of the local cow vigilante group.

The victims, who are engaged in skinning in Una town of Gir Somnath district, had brought dead cows. While they were skinning the cows, six persons in an SUV approached them and accused them of cow slaughter. The victims tried convincing them that they had brought the carcass for skinning.

However, the assailants did not heed to their pleading and started beating them with iron pipes and sticks. After stripping and thrashing them, they were tied behind the SUV and taken to the village.


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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 4:19:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Seven-Dalits-attempt-suicide-in-Gujarat/article14495976.ece

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