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Gujarat Dalit rights leader detained as he went to represent to CM over mysterious "slaughter" of 548 cows

By Our Representative
Gujarat's grassroots Dalit rights leader Natubhai Parmar, seeking to represent before chief minister Vijay Rupani on what he called "mysterious disappearance" of 548 cows in a cattle shed or panrapol in Junagadh district over the past three years, was on Sunday detained by the Surendranagar police on suspicion that he might "disturb" Rupani's programme. According to Parmar, he was "set free only after Rupani left the spot." Along with Parmar, 30 of his supporters, too, were detained.
Parmar, who is with Gujarat's biggest Dallit rights organization, Navsarjan Trust, shot into prominence for organizing a unique protest against cow vigilantes' terror in 2016 by dumping a truck full of dead cows in front of Surendranagar district collector's office, telling the administration to "find out" who killed them before disposing them of.
During his recent campaigns he has been propagating that cattle consuming plastics is the main reason for cow slaughter, and not those who are sought to be targeted for it -- Dalits involved in the hereditary caste-based job of skinning cows.
Early this week, he took out a rally and handed over a 25 kg plastic taken out of a dead cow's womb to the Surendranagar district collector, telling him, this should be handed over to Rupani as a grim reminder that cows are being forced to die by eating leftovers mixed with plastic because of the failure of the government to take care of cows, whom it considers holy. He took out a similar rally a year ago.
Parmar told Counterview, based on information, widely reported in local media, he wanted to represent to the chief minister, that "no investigation has yet been ordered into the mysterious disappearance of so many cows from the goshala or cow shed, run by a family trust near Torania village. As many as 789 stray cows were handed by the Junagadh Municipal Corporation (JMC) with Rs 3,000 per cow to the trust."
Pointing out that of the 789 just 241 cows are currently said to be surviving, Parmar, who runs Gautam Buddha Goseva Ashram in Surendranagar, said, "The JMC in all handed over Rs 23.67 lakh to the cow shed to take care of the cows three years ago. It means that JMC officials, too, should be held responsible for negligence of the cows that were handed over to the trust."
The written representation, which Parmar was to hand over to the chief minister, demanded action against the trust's management under the state law, which stipulates life imprisonment of those found responsible of cow slaughter, wondering why the police authorities have not begun any investigation so far.
"The goseva trust currently has just 153 of the 789 cows it was given. It claims, it has given 88 of them to individuals who have taken up the responsibility of taking care of them", the letter states, seeking CBI inquiry into the possible death of the cows.

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