Other States

After Una atrocity, Dalits protest and refuse to dispose of carcasses in Gujarat

Continuing to protest against the atrocities being inflicted on them by cow vigilante groups and upper castes, Dalits in several districts of Gujarat are refusing to dispose of dead animals. A group of Dalits were mercilessly flogged recently for skinning a dead cow in a village near Una in Saurashtra.

Outfits such as the Dalit Manav Adhikar Movement fighting for the rights of the community have exhorted their members to stay away from skinning and disposing of dead animals, which is their traditional occupation.

In Surendranagar district, the civic body had to bury over 80 dead animals because the Dalits have refused to dispose them citing threat from local cow vigilante groups, who have been targeting Muslims and Dalits on the issue of cow slaughter and consumption of beef.

“The Dalit community, which usually skins the dead animals and then disposes of the carcasses, has been on a strike in the district for one week, so we told the municipal staff to dispose of the dead animals. Some other communities who rear cattle are helping us,” said District Collector Udit Agarwal.

He said he would invite the Dalit leaders to discuss the issue and resolve their problems. “They have asked us to provide identity cards to those engaged in skinning. We will consult the government on their demand,” he added.

Besides Surendranagar, the Dalits have been refusing to dispose of dead animals in several villages of Gandhinagar, Mehsana and Ahmedabad districts. Last week, in Zakhu village near Ahmedabad, Dalits refused to skin a dead cow, forcing the villagers to bury it. “They refused, so we had to bury the dead cow,” said Ranchhod Rabari, a farmer from the village.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 3:53:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/After-Una-atrocity-Dalits-protest-and-refuse-to-dispose-of-carcasses-in-Gujarat/article14517057.ece

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