Dalits pledge not to lift cow carcasses in Gujarat

Ahmedabad: Thousands of Dalits took a pledge here on Sunday not to lift carcasses in protest against the attacks on Dalits by upper caste Hindu activists.

The collective pledge was taken at a Dalit rally called by as many as 30 Dalit groups from across Gujarat and backed by the quasi religious body Jamiat-e-Ulema-Hind.

Although the Acher ST Depot ground here can accommodate only about 5,000 people, witnesses said the venue was swelling, with thousands taking up every inch of space available in the vicinity.

Organisers said the Dalit show of strength was meant to protest against what they said were atrocities against the community, in particular the brutal thrashing of four Dalit youths in Una.

This is the first time in Gujarat that as many as 30 Dalit groups from across the state have come together to raise a plethora of issues facing the community for decades.

They have rallied under the banner of ‘Una Dalit Atyachar Ladat Samiti’ (Una Dalit Fight against Atrocities Committee), with Jignesh Mevani as their convenor.

Mevani is a young low-profile lawyer who has been single-handedly fighting several court battles for the Dalits.