Skip to main content

Damocles' sword on Gujarat Dalits? "False" FIR charging 16 of murder of cop wouldn't be taken back: Minister

Minister (extreme left) with the Dalit delegation
By Our Representative
In a development that is likely to be further exacerbate tension between protesting Dalits and the Gujarat government, a top state minister has declared that the state will not take back the crucial first information report (FIR) against 16 Dalits, books by the Amreli police under Section 302 (murder) of a cop on duty during a July 19 rally.
While those who have been booked assert (click HERE) that they were in no way involved in the death of the constable, Pankaj Amrelia, who allegedly died as he was hit by a stone while getting down from the police van, the minister told a Dalit group that the FIR “wouldn’t be taken back.”
However, he added, “There has been a compromise. There wouldn’t be any action against those whose names were put in the FIR”, an answer which did not satisfy the delegation.
On July 19, hundreds of Dalits took out a rally in Amreli, a major town of Saurashtra region, against the gruesome flogging of four Dalits in Una by cow vigilantes, an event which has triggered major protests across Gujarat and India.
After the FIR was lodged, Dalits regrouped in Amreli and took out another rally on August 8 with the participation of about 800 to protest against the “false” charge of murder in the FIR levelled against the 16 Dalits.
This was followed by 46 members of the families of the Dalits, against whom the FIR was lodged, to sit in protest in front of the Amreli district collectorate office for 31 days, till September 7. The sit-in ended after the district collector met the victims and assured them that “no action would be taken against them.”
However, as the Dalits’ demand for taking back the FIR was not met, the Dalit activists’ delegation led by well-known Dalit rights activist Rajesh Solanki called on social justice and empowerment minister Atmaram Parmar in Gandhinagar, the state capital.
“When I asked the minister if 90 per cent of the cases against the Patel agitators could be taken back, why couldn’t this one, which was totally false, couldn’t be taken back, he told me that I am whipping up the issue because of the forthcoming elections of the Gujarat state assembly”, Solanki told Counterview.
A local Dalit activist stationed in Amreli, attached with an Ahmedabad-based NGO Centre for Social Justice, said, “What is particularly perturbing is that, the police has even prepared a list of 49 other persons who were to be added in the FIR. These persons were to be added on the basis of the video footage of the rally on July 19.”
While this has so far not happened, there is a strong suspicion that the FIR would continue to remain as a Damocles’ sword on those named and others who have been “identified”.
Along with Solanki, those who met the minister on September 12 also included Kevalsinh Rathod, Piyush Sarvaiya, Jethabhai Chauhan, Kishor Sankhat and Harshvardhan Kataria. Earlier they made a similar representation to Ahmedabad Dalit MLA RM Patel, an ex-IAS bureaucrat, and MP Kirit Solanki.
The minister said, “You are not alone. Ten other groups have met me with a similar demand.” When told that those who had come were victims themselves, the minister, who saw the demands, replied, “I don’t see your demands here. You are preaching me.”

Comments

TRENDING

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

Attack on Gaza: Western media 'went out of the way' to obscure, protect perpetrators

By Sonali Kolhatkar*  Israeli forces killed more than a hundred Palestinians and wounded more than 700 on February 29, 2024 during a distribution of food aid in Gaza city, pushing the Palestinian death toll to 30,000 since October 7, 2023. The food aid massacre was straightforward in its deadliness as armed Israeli forces aimed weapons at desperate, hungry Palestinian civilians and killed many of them. It was also plausible within the context of who has firepower and who doesn’t, and wholly consistent with Israeli atrocities, especially those committed since October 7, 2023.

Living standards in 'model' Gujarat worse than major states: Govt of India document

By Rajiv Shah  Amidst raging controversy over whether the latest Government of India’s “Household Consumption Expenditure Survey 2022-23 Fact Sheet: August 2022-July 2023” suggests that India’s poverty levels are actually down to 4.5 to 5%  during the decade-long Narendra Modi rule, a state-wise breakup in the 27-page document shows that “model” Gujarat’s average consumption expenditure is far below most of the so-called developed states.

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Not livable in summer, Chitrakut PM-Awas houses 'push' tribals in moneylender trap

By Bharat Dogra*  Those who are in-charge of implementing the PM-Awas scheme of rural housing can rightly take pride in what has been achieved in Dafai hamlet (Karvi block, Chitrakut district, Uttar Pradesh). All the Kol tribal families here are extremely poor and vulnerable. In a rare achievement, almost all of them have received housing assistance under PM Awas. 

Stressing on standardisation, efficiency, capitalists 'intensify' workers' exploitation

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The productivist ideology lies at the core of the profit-making pyramid of capitalism. It perpetuates a relentless cycle characterized by busy schedules, workplace tension, an imbalance in work-life equilibrium, and a pervasive sense of alienation. 

Development? This tribal hamlet in Chitrakut has no toilets, no electricity connections yet

By Bharat Dogra*  As we moved away from the starting point of the Bundelkhand Expressway and a famous pilgrimage site into a side-road, the hills of Chitrakut here appeared to be more and more isolated. Another turn, and we appeared to have reached almost a dead-end. However it is here that over 80 households of the Kol tribal community have been living for a long time.

WTO 'loses legitimacy': CSOs shut out of normal participation in MC13 at Abu Dhabi

By Deborah James  Given unprecedented repression of participants, the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) at Abu Dhabi should not continue until historical and international standards and human rights for participation in global governance are restored.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".