On July 12, four Dalit youths who were skinning a dead cow were thrashed with iron rods, chained to a car and dragged to a police station in Una, a small town in Gujarat. The assaulters -- members of the local guan rakish samiti -- were from the Darbar caste and accused the Dalit youth of killing the cow for the purpose of selling beef. The incident happened in Una town in Saurashtra, Gujarat. The gruesome incident was captured on video by their assaulters and widely circulated using WhatsApp and other social media channels. While slaughtering cows and selling or consuming beef is banned in Gujarat, skinning of dead animals is not illegal
Front Page Video Courtesy: Indian Express
The police and the state administration were unwilling to take action, apart from filing a few FIRs. The anger of the dalit community has now exploded, particularly after some dalits consumed poison as a protest, two of whom have died. Gujarat is now witnessing widespread protests following the incident at Una. As a part of the protest, members of the community also dumped cow carcasses in front of the Collector’s office in different districts.
Courtesy: National Dastak
The main stream media, busy with fomenting anger against Kashmiri youth and blaming Pakistan, has found little time to report on Gujarat. Or that vigilante Hindutva groups calling themselves go rakhsha smite have created a regime of terror among Muslims and dalits who are involved in transporting cattle, and in skinning dead animals. This so-called protectors of cows have little sympathy for living animals, but are willing to kill and maim in its name. Whether it is killing Akhlaq in Dadri, or lynching cattle traders in Kanpur, Latehar, all of its to raise the communal temperature and launch economic attacks on minorities.What they forget is Hindutva itself has deep faultiness, in which dalits had to dispose of the carcasses of fallen animals which the caste Hindus would not touch. By attacking dalits for skinning a dead cow, they have brought to surface the hypocrisy on which cow protection is built.
Newsclick carries excerpts from some important stories from Sabrang and other sources that cover different aspects of the current Gujarat protests.
Sabrang India Writes, “Fast on the heels of a Dalit cultivator being hacked to death in Porbander Gujarat, in yet another gruesome attack on Dalits at Una in Saurashtra, iron rods were used to assault them mercilessly”.Read More….
Firstpost writes, “Like deranged maniacs who love to humiliate their victims and showcase their crimes to the world, the vigilantes shot the entire incident, labelled ''Talibani attack" by Dalit groups, and later released it on social media, ostensibly to warn others against touching gau mata, dead or alive.” Read More…
The Communist Party of India Marxist has also issued a statement condemning the incident and have demanded action. The statement reads, “The Gujarat government should, apart from taking strong action against the culprits in the Una incident, ban the activities of the cow protection committees. The administration should immediately instruct the police to stop using repressive measures against those protesting against this atrocity on dalits.”. Read More….
In an article written in Sabrang India, activist Teesta Setalvad discusses the history of atrocities committed on Dalits in Gujarat. She writes, “For years now, we have been fed with stories, lies and half-truths about the Gujarat Model. We should not ever forget that this model began to be ‘sold’ and ‘marketed’ post 2007, in the wake of India’s worst ever genocidal pogrom against Muslims, in 2002. It is not that under other governments and political parties, deep rooted anti-minority prejudice was not allowed to fester and infiltrate within positions and institutions of power.” Read More….
BSP Chief Mayawati in Rajya Sabha raised cases of Dalit atrocities in Gujarat.
Courtesy: India TV