Gujarat: Una Dalit Victims Seek Mercy Killing Citing State Govt's Failure In Keeping Promises
The Dalits, who were beaten in Una by upper caste men in 2016 for skinning a dead cow, have claimed that the Gujarat government did not fulfil any of their promises that were made to them after the incident. Lamenting about the same a member of the Dalit family, Vashram Sarvaiya on Tuesday wrote to the President Ram Nath Kovind, asking for permission to kill himself.
According to the Scroll, in June 2016, seven members of the Sarvaiya family were assaulted by more than 40 men from a higher Darbar caste. The Sarvaiya family from the leather tanner community, have been in this occupation for ages. However, the assailants accused them of cow slaughter. At the time of the incident, the assailants flogged four of the Sarvaiya brothers. They were stripped, tied to the back of a car and were mercilessly beaten up. The assaulters also filmed the attack.
Had to leave their traditional work
Vashram, writing on behalf of his family wrote in a letter that the state government has failed to keep their promises that were made to the victims and their family members. He said, “She (then state Chief Minister Anandiben Patel) had assured us that the state government will allot five acres land to each of victims, that the victims will be given government jobs as per their qualification, and Mota Samadhiyala will be transformed into a developed village.” In addition to that, he said, “Two years and four months have passed since the incident and the government has fulfilled none of its promises nor has it made any attempt to fulfil them,” as reported by The Indian Express.
Vashram has claimed that after the 2016 incident the family had left the leather tanning occupation, which left them without any means of livelihood. Blaming the government for not paying heed to them, Vashram said that the family had presented their case repeatedly in writing and orally as well. However, the Gujarat government did not pay any attention to their pleas.
Helplessness leading to pleading for mercy killing
Vashram also alleged that the state government did not even provide adequate security to the family or the witnesses as the Una incident is being heard in the court. He further said that main accused in the case are out on bail and are “violating their bail conditions”, while the government is just sitting ideal.
Expressing his helplessness, he said, “As the Gujarat government has not fulfilled any of our demands so far, I do not want to live this life, and I am therefore pressing this plea seeking permission to kill myself by sitting on an indefinite fast.” He is sitting on an indefinite hunger strike near Bharatiya Janata Party MP Kirit Solanki’s house in Ahmedabad.
Many forced to leave tradition occupation
The incident had taken place on June 11, 2016, in which at least seven people were trashed by the self-proclaimed ‘gau rakshak’ (cow vigilantes) in Mota Samadhiyala village of Una taluka in Gir Somnath district. The video of the assault had gone viral which led to many protests in the country. According to the Scroll, after the incident 16 had attempted suicide in Saurashtra and one of them had died. In the same month the four members of the family who were beaten along with 300 other people converted to Buddhism to protest caste-based atrocities and discrimination.
The BSP chief Mayawati raised the issue on the floor of Rajya Sabha in July last year. “Since the BJP has come to power, there have been atrocities on Dalits, minorities starting from Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad, then the Gau Rakshaks (cow vigilantes),” she said in the Rajya Sabha, as reported by India Today.