Skip to main content

Murder of Gujarat Dalit youth for riding horse a "warning" to Supreme Court order on "misuse" of anti-atrocities law

By Our Representative
The gruesome murder of a Dalit youth allegedly for refusing to heed the order of high caste Rajputs not to "show off" by riding on his horse is all set to become a major embarrassment for the Supreme Court, which ruled recently that certain provisions the Prevention of Atrocities (POA) Act were being misused to "blackmail" innocent people. The only Dalit boy in the region to ride a horse, he was quite popular in his community.
According to a local activist Dalit activist Arvind Makwana, 21-year-old Pradip Rathod of Timbi village in Umrala taluka of Bhavnagar district was killed on March 29 evening a week after his father was threatened that the boy should refrain from riding the horse. Gifted by his father after buying the horse five months back for Rs 30,000, Makwana says, "The village Rajputs had told Pradip's father to sell the horse, or face fatal consequences."
According to available information, Pradip, as always, went out of his house riding on his horse rode on March 29 evening, but the horse came back alone. His father, Kalubhai, out to search his son, was shocked to find the body soaked in blood a little away from his house. Pradip was the only Dalit not only in his village but also in neighbouring villages to own a horse and ride on it, something Rajputs believed was their forte.
While Gujarat's top Dalit face Jignesh Mevani has, in a sarcastic comment, said he "dedicates" news of the dastardly incident to the Supreme Court judgment "which said Dalits blackmail citizens with POA Act", well-known Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan, founder of the state's biggest Dalit NGO Navsarjan Trust, has insisted, "The Supreme Court had ruled that the anti-atrocities law was being misused to harass innocent people. Even before the ink dried up, this young boy was murdered."
Said senior Gujarat Dalit activist Kantilal Parmar, "Kalubhai's family refused to take Pradip's body, lying in Bhavnagar Civil Hospital, till those accused in the murder were arrested. About 2,000 people from surrounding villages joined in and sat on dharna. The administration was forced to act. It rounded up three persons involved in the murder."
Pointing out that this is not an isolated incident, Parmar said, earlier incidents, which took place over the last about a year, involved the murder of Jayesh Solanki was for watching garba in Bhadaniya village of Anand district, Patan district's Bhanubhai Vankar setting himself on fire after the government administration refused to provide him land he was allocated, and Bharatbhai Gohel of Veraval's Ambariyala village being burned alive for failing to pay up dues for the car which he had bought.
Then there was the most recent incident of Rajkot's Manekvada village where a young Right to Information activist was killed for seeking to bring on surface massive corruption in the administration, a Dalit boy in a village of Sabarkantha district being beaten up for keeping moustache, suicide of a midday meal scheme in charge in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home town Vadnagar on being harassed by teachers, the murder of Mahesh Senva in Ahmdabad district for for seeking irrigation water, and the murder of a constable Vinodbhai in Detroj, also in Ahmedabad district.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Will it ever change? Can the laws change the DNA of thinking process.
Anonymous said…
Untouchability and some form of atrocities are common in villages. Therefore, Dr. Ambedkar advised the depressed to migrate to cities where they can live a life of dignity. After 70 years of independence, village culture hasn’t been changed as expected because the village population had maintained their caste identity living separate in ghettos of castes groups. In urban areas, the areas of living for the depressed are separate but because of housing costs and needs for services, people somehow get mixing. The upper caste men living in cities when go to village, they change the colour the same of village culture. Like the Indians, when they live in foreign countries, they are like discipline force but when they come to india, they become like us. It is to note that Indian people living abroad also believe in caste system. If they come to know about the individual identity as depressed, their behaviour dilutes.

It is a way of life, the life of survival, the depressed have to accept and adjust and to sail in the Sea of mankind together. It is a man made disaster. India won’t have casteless society for another 500 years, because caste system is it’s culture. It may dilute but can’t disappear.

The uncultued upper castes people living in villages tolerate the growth or individual pride of Dalits in limit but if they see something going above their tolerance limit, they act inhuman. For them, the Dalits are the slaves can’t have right and freedom of expression beyond their tolerance limit. There were/are villages where the Dalits were not allowed to use Dhol/drum or musical orchestra in the marriage of their sons and daughters. There were/are villages where the Dalit bridegroom can’t ride a horse when go for marriage.

It’s a life of adjustment and finding ways to grow within limitations.
Indira Hirway said…
This is utterly shameful for the state! Totally u
unacceptable!

Must protest collectively!
Uma Sheth said…
"It’s a life of adjustment and finding ways to grow within limitations." This is a ridiculous attitude and no wonder the one who wrote it has preferred to remain anonymous.

How can we call ourselves a civilised nation when we show no civility to our own people?
Urvashi Devi said…
Terrible news. But there have been cases of black mail. Some years ago we had a terrible time in Baria; a gang was going around blackmailing jewellers and extracting money. Some people opposing me also tried to get Dalits to file cases against me, but it never happened because most of those Dalits have been given land by my family. In Baria most of, nearly all actually, Dalits here been given very fertile land by the Panam river by my father. We have always looked after Dalits; that's why my opponents didn't succeed.
Kuldeep Tiwari said…
What society are we living in...

Do people fear law and order ? I doubt !!!
Keshubhai Desai said…
Horrible and shameful for any cultured and civilized society.

TRENDING

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

World Bank needs a new perspective on development, not just a new president

By Maju Varghese*
The resignation of the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim was an unexpected development given the fact that he had three more years to complete his tenure. Resignations at such a high level after bidding for a second term is unusual which prompts people to think what would have led to the act itself.

Not just Indian women engineers, men too face sexual harassment at workplace: US study

By Rajiv Shah
A recent research, carried out jointly by two US-based non-profit organizations, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Center for WorkLife Law (WLL), based at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has found that 45% of women engineers as against 28% of men engineers complained that it was perceived as “inappropriate when women argued at work, even when it was work-related.”