Gujarat: Dalit youths attempt suicide to protest Una incident

Ahmedabad: Dalit youths attempted suicide at two places in Rajkot district of Gujarat on Monday to protest the brutal assault on fellow community members for allegedly killing a cow at Una last week.

At Gondal, five Dalit youth — Rajesh Parmar, Ramesh Pardhi, Jagdish Rathod, Bharat Solanki and Anil Maghad — tried to end their lives by drinking poison near Babasaheb Ambedkar’s statue in market area of the town. At Jamkandorna in the district, Kishor Solanki (30) and Amrit Parmar (25), tried to commit suicide.

All seven are now being treated at a hospital in Gondal.

Inspector Vijay Chaudhary said the five youths who tried to commit suicide in Gondal had threatened to take such a step and police had deployed adequate security to prevent it, but they still managed to consume a poisonous substance.

“They were protesting the brutal assault on fellow Dalit youths in the Una town of the Gir Somnath district,” he said.

Deputy Superintendent of Police, Gir Somnath, K M Joshi said nine persons have been arrested in the Una assault case. Inspector N U Zala and three constables have been suspended.

The incident at Una, where Dalit youths were paraded and flogged for allegedly killing a cow, caused nation-wide outrage after its video went viral. The victims’ contention was that they were skinning a dead cow and had not killed it.

In Surendranagar, some 300 Dalits on Monday carried a dead cow and held protest outside the office of the Collector. They gave a memorandum to the collector demanding action against the culprits in the Una case.