Ahmedabad: After a brutal assault on Dalits in Una shocked the nation, the community in Gujarat Successfully held for a major show of strength here on Sunday and exhorted for an end to social discrimination, oppression and political apathy. Thousands of Dalits mainly from north Gujarat and Saurashtra participated in the 'Dalit Mahasammelan' organized by Una Dalit Atyachar Ladat Samiti (UDALS) at Acher Depot in Sabarmati.
Meanwhle, Youth named Yogesh Sarikhada who was from Dhangradra, dies in civil hospital after consuming poison on larger quantity.
Yogesh has consumed poison during protests against dalit atrocity of Una incident after consuming poison he was been taken to Rajkot Civil Hospital few days later shifted to Ahmedabad Civil Hospita. Mahendra Solanki, a member of Dalit community from Rajkot, said that Yogesh belonged to Moti Parabadi village of Rajkot district.
"Another Rohit Vemula has died protesting against atrocities on Dalits," Solanki said comparing his death with suicide of Hyderabad University student Rohith Vemula.
Determined to ensure that no breach of peace occurs, the city police had planned heavy deployment of personnel at the meeting organized near GSRTC depot. Activists and members of dalit communities from across the state are expected to participate at the event to protest against the flogging of dalits in Una.
Sammelan of Dalits has concluded peacefully today afternoon in Acher area of Sabarmati in Ahmedabad. The sammelan was described as “non-political” by organizers, however it was full of anti-BJP govt speeches in parts. The sammelan was organized by various NGOs that are into Dalit activism.
The organizers wanted to hold this sammelan near Collector office, but the administration allocated them Acher ground in Sabarmati. Due to rainfall, the ground had suffered water logging following which sammelan was shifted to a road located next to the ground. There was a presence of over 10,000 persons in this sammelan. Former IPS Rahul Sharma addressed the sammelan and said he would lead a yatra from Ahmedabad to Una during 5-15 August.
National tricolor will be hoisted in Una on 15 August, he further said. One of key organizers Jignesh Mevani said culprits in Una atrocity case must not be free in future or they would harass the victim family. They should be sent back to prison under PASA. He said Dalits don’t want to do the job of dealing with bodies of dead animals. They want land so that they can cultivate and get better life. He said all sweepers working in local bodies should get benefits of 6th wage commission.
He demanded special courts to deal with atrocity cases. Mevani, a young boy who was the face of sammelan has been associated with Aam Aadmi Party(AAP). When asked about his association with AAP by a media person, Jignesh didn’t reply it properly and skipped AAP reference. Mevani who is lawyer was lastly in news when he defended an advertisement by Human Development and Research Center (HDRC), an NGO run by St Xavier’s Non-Formal Education Society, seeking toilet cleaners from general category castes.
The convener of the joint front Jignesh Mevani says at least 10,000 people from across Gujarat are likely to be present at the rally.Mevani told IANS, “You might feel the number of people is much less, but this should be understood from the point of view that it is for the first time there has been such a Dalit uprising in Gujarat, and that too without support of any political party.
”Even the support from the Muslims has been on their own volition. They came and expressed their solidarity,” he said.
Mevani added that Dalits and Muslims are “travelling in the same boat” in Gujarat
After the Una incident in which some goons who have criminal record in the past, shamefully and brutally thrashed rural leather workers, many Dalit organizations including Church-funded NGO Navsarjan have come into action.
Police has added conspiracy section in Una case. Why leather workers who fall under Dalit class were thrashed, why video of this incident was captured by culprits themselves and why it was circulated by them – are some of the key questions under probe. After some violent incidents peace has prevailed in the state. Gujarat has around 6-7% dalit population.