Skip to main content

Angry Gujarat Dalits to protest in Amreli on August 8 against "false" FIR charging social workers with murder

Amreli district court advocates handing over protest letter
By Our Representative
Even as the imbroglio around the July 11 Una incident, in which four Dalit youths were thrashed after tying them to an SUV, refuses to die down, a new wave of Dalit anger has begun to sweep in Saurashtra. This is around what is being claimed to be a false FIR against 16 Dalits youths charging them with the murder of a police constable on July 19.
Naming as many as 16 persons under Section 302 of the CrPC, including a school teacher, a social justice lawyer and a well-known social activist, the FIR was filed late on July 19, the day angry protests rocked Amreli town against the Una incident – that too for an incident which, say local sources, was not a murder but an accident.
While none of those whose names figure in the FIR were contactable, as their phones were switched off, a social worker attached with the NGO, Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), Ahmedabad, and working in Amreli, told Counterview that the district's prominent Dalits have “met and decided to hold a major show of strength in front of the district office on August 8 to protest against the FIR.”
A leaflet calling upon Dalits to remain present in Amreli “in thousands” on August 8 said, “The police constable, Pankajbhai Amrelia, died far away from the spot where the Dalits were protesting. His death happened because he fell down while getting down from a police vehicle, and his head was reportedly hit by a sharp matter.”
Calling the Amreli district police's decision to book the 16 prominent Dalit activists under Section 302 a “well-planned conspiracy” to take a revenge against them because most of them were fighting for Dalit rights in the district, the leaflet says, “The FIR has been lodged against even those who were not there in the rally, with some of them being out of the state.”
Leaflet calling for August 8 rally in Amreli
Giving details of those named in the FIR, CSJ activist Arvindbhai Khuman told Counterview that the most prominent among them is Karsanbhai Rathod, an advocate based in a neighbouring town, Rajula. “Rathod had come to Amreli for getting his driving license renewed, he was nowhere near the spot of the incident. Already, there a wave of anger against naming Rathod.”
“A social justice lawyer who takes up cases of caste discrimination, there is already a wave of anger among the lawyers of the district against naming Rathod”, Khuman says. “On July 25, the Rajula Bar Association wrote a letter to minister of state for home Rajnibhai Patel protesting against wrongly naming Rathod. And on August 1, advocates across the district went on strike. Representation was made to government officials in all the eight talukas and district headquarters in Amreli.”
Then, Khuman said, there is the name of school teacher, Rajnibhai Makwana, who had gone to attend a social function and was with BJP Rajya Sabha MP Shambhunath Tundiya, known among Dalits as a “dharmaguru” because of his religious seat in Zanzarka in Saurashtra. “Shambhunath Maharaj has confirmed this and given it writing”, he added.
“A third person”, said Khuman, “is a prominent social worker from Rajula, Kantibhai Vala. Vala has been mobilising Dalits in Amreli district for the last several years. He is the one who has been the driving force behind the protest by 23 persons of a family, who are sitting in front of the Amreli district collector's office. They were forced to migrate from their village, Vadli, where they faced intolerable oppression of the upper castes.”
“Others named in the FIR include Navchetanbhai Parmar, a lawyer, who took the permission for the Dalit rally. The police never liked him fighting the case of the effort of upper caste villagers seeking to burn an entire family alive. Apparently, he has been punished for that”, says Khuman, adding, “There is also a transporter, Gopal Manibhai Parmar, who was in Rajasthan on that day.”

Comments

TRENDING

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

Karnataka: NGO Akshay Patra "not sensitive" to nutrition demands of school children

Counterview Desk
Well-known civil rights organizations, Right to Food Campaign and Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, have sent a letter to the Union minister of human resource development, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, other concerned ministers and officials of the state expressing concerns regarding the mid-day meal (MDM) to school children, insisting, all contracts to the Akshay Patra for supply of MDM should be immediately terminated.

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Govt of India "tarnishing" NGO reputation, dossier leaked selectively: Amnesty

Counterview Desk
Amnesty International India has said that a deliberate attempt is being made to tarnish its reputation by leaking a dossier, supposedly made by investigating agencies, to media without giving it access to any such information. The high profile NGO’s claim follows a Times Now report about proceedings launched by investigative agencies, including Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the rights body for “violations” of rules pertaining to overseas donations.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Four children die after poor UP Dalit, Muslim families forced to flee to forest area: PVCHR

Counterview Desk
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has said that the forest department police’s crackdown, allegedly without any prior notice, on Dalit and Muslim households in Dakhin Tola, Churk Bazaar, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, beating up “children and old people, women, and men in an inhuman way”, has led to “forced displacement, starvation and discrimination”. This has reportedly affected about 350 people.

Vedanta is out but corporate loot continues in Odisha: Local activists tell NAPM yatra

By Our Representative
Lok Shakti Abhiyan leader Prafulla Samantara, winner of the Goldman Environmental (also known as Green Nobel) Prize in 2017, has regretted that though Sundergarh in Odisha, like other forest areas, is a fifth schedule area, where Forest Rights Act (FRA) and Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) is applicable, but these laws are being “outrightly violated to facilitate corporate loot.”