Gujarat bandh over Dalit attack; Rahul, Kejriwal to visit Una


Gujarat-BandhGujarat remained tense following a bandh called by Dalit organisations. Protests against the brutal attack on Dalits last week in Una spread like wildfire across the state, including its capital Ahmedabad, in which many state-run transport buses were torched and a cop was killed.

Dalit Panthers gave the strike call, which was supported by Jan Sangharsh Manch and Dalit Movement of India and other organisations. Buses were set on fire in Rajkot district, Surendranagar, Amreli, Junagadh and Saurashtra.

Gujarat has been witnessing such protests following the incident at Una where seven Dalit youths were beaten up for allegedly killing a cow.

It may be recalled that the attackers did not listen to the entreaties of the Dalits, who said that they were tannery workers and were only skinning the carcass. In protest against the beating, as many as seven Dalits attempted suicide, while two ended their lives to protest the attack on the Dalit family.

While this was so, as Dalits called the bandh in Gujarat, the Congress party has announced that vice-president Rahul Gandhi would visit Una on July 21 to meet the victims.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal would go to Gujarat on July 22. While there, the Aam Aadmi Party chief and party members would protest against the attack on Dalits.

Parliament witnessed unruly scenes over alleged atrocities against Dalits in Gujarat. Congress, AAP Bahujan Samaj Party, Trinamool Congress and Janata Dal (United) members raised the issue in the Upper House.

Embarrassing the Congress no end, Gandhi scion dozed off throughout Union Home Minster Rajnath Singh’s speech on the Una issue in the Lok Sabha. While his colleagues and Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Karge were protesting against Singh’s remarks, Rahul seemed to sleep on.

This is not the first time when Gandhi has been seen dozing off in the Lok Sabha.

Patidar leader Hardik Patel, supporting the Dalits, has said that they have been exploited enough. It may be noted Patel has to remain outside the state for a period of six months.

Chief Minister Anandiben Patel has declared to go to the Dalits who were brutally attacked by a ‘gau raksha’ (cow protectors) group.

Meanwhile, seventeen persons have been booked under Atrocities Act in Gujarat. Union social justice minister Thawar Chand Gehlot has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to victims’ families.