Skip to main content

Thangarh police firing: Gujarat Dalit families want govt to file FIR against cops responsible for death of 3 youths

On stage: Thangarh family members with Manjula Pradeep
By Our Representative
In first of a series of shows of strength following the success of the August 15 Una rally, called to protest against flogging of four Dalit youths on July 11, the Gujarat Scheduled Caste Anti-Atrocities Struggle Committee on Sunday held a well-attended rally in Gadhinagar in order to highlight the plight of the three Dalit families who had lost their sons in police firing in Thangarh four years ago.
Held against the backdrop of the families sitting on dharna in Gandhinagar for about a fortnight demanding to reopen the case, closed recently by the Gujarat crime branch, a strong demand was put forward to file a first information report (FIR) against the cops who had fired on the three youths on September 22-13, 2012.
Finding that the rally might embarrass the Gujarat government ahead of a two-day session of the Gujarat state assembly, starting on Monday, senior Dalit rights activists taking up the cause of the Dalit families were called for a compromise late on Friday evening.
Soon after the meeting with Gujarat ministers, the state government declared setting up of a special investigation team (SIT) and a special court to probe the incident, which has become a symbol of Dalit atrocities in Gujarat for the last four years. It also declared appointment of a special special public prosecutor to ensure early completion of the probe.
The SIT will include Rajkot police commissioner Anupam Singh Gehlot, Surat deputy commissioner of police (zone-2) Parikshita Rathiod, and Porbandar district police chief Tarun Kumar Duggal. The rally saw a section declaring it as a victory for their struggle. However, others seemed reluctant to reach to the conclusion.
Addressing the gathering, members of the Dalit families said, they are “not satisfied” with the offer of SIT, pointing out, “Our main demand remains unanswered: To take prompt action against the cops responsible for the firing incident, in which three Dalit youths died.” They said, they wanted a
CBI inquiry, and not SIT, adding, they were "taken for a ride."
Addressed by Dalit rights NGO Navsarjan Trust founder Martin Macwan and executive director Manjula Pradeep, among others, a list of 16 demands were put forward at the gathering, which included holding mass hearing in each village on atrocities against Dalits and other marginalized groups, and disbanding the village level social justice committees, whose main job is not to look into caste discrimination but to look after cleanliness.
Also, there was a demand to look into the problems of the Dalits of tens of villages who have been forced to migrate and live in nearby towns because of attacks from dominant castes. Nothing has been done to rehabilitate them, the speakers at the rally pointed out. Activists wanted the two-day Gujarat state assembly to discuss these issues theadbare.
Activists wanted the state government should reveal the findings of senior IAS bureaucrat Sanjay Prasad, who looked into the Thangarh firing. The inquiry report was submitted to the then Narendra Modi government on May 1, 2013, but has not been made public, allegedly because it contains names of some senior police officials, who had ordered to fire on the Dalits.

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…

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.

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)".

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).

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

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).

60 ex-civil servants seek release of CAG reports on Rafale, demonetisation before 2019 polls

Counterview Desk
As many as 60 retired civil servants have asked President Ram Nath Kovind to expedite the release of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports on demonetisation and the Rafale deal. The letter, signed mainly by former Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service officers, regrets that the status of the audit is "unclear”. According to them, “An impression is gaining ground that CAG is deliberately delaying its audit reports on demonetisation and Rafale deal till after the May 2019 elections so as not to embarrass the present government”.

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.

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.