Una flogging: Right-wing terrorists tried to project Dalit victims as Muslim

NEW DELHI: The charge sheet by the CID has revealed that an accused in the Una flogging case allegedly tried to project one of the seven Dalit victims as a Muslim who slaughtered the cow whose carcass was being skinned.

According to the transcript of a video of the incident attached to the charge sheet, the said accused tried to egg others on by labelling the particular victim as a member of the minority community.

On 11 July last year, exactly a year ago, the seven Dalits from Mota Samadhiyala village of Gir Somnath district were flogged in public, allegedly for cow slaughter.

Videos of the thrashing had gone viral triggering widespread protests. Two persons, including a policeman and a civilian, died during the violent agitation in Gujarat.

According to the transcript of one such video, annexed to the charge sheet, the accused tried to label one victim as Muslim.

“Tell the truth…You belong to which community? Don’t do drama here…stop crying…Beat him up. What is your name? I know you very well…Your name is Aarif…Why did you run away? Tell me will you ever run away? You slaughtered the cow,” reads the Gujarati transcript of the video.

“Let us tie them to the vehicle and thrash them. Only then will they understand,” the transcript adds.

The CID had named 34 people, including four police personnel, in the charge sheet filed last year.

The charge sheet said alleged mastermind Shantilal Monpara of the ‘Sanatan Gau Seva Trust’ hatched a conspiracy with his aides to project the Dalit men had slaughtered the cow.

The Dalit men had claimed they were only skinning the carcass.

The charge sheet stated that the victims were thrashed near the Una Police Station also and that the policemen concerned “did nothing” to save the Dalit men.

The Gujarat Police later found the cow being skinned by the Dalits was actually killed by lions.

Ahead of the first anniversary of the flogging incident, the Dalits under their leader Jignesh Mevani would take out ‘Freedom March’ on July 12 from Mehsana town.

A day before the march, Dalit activists and victims of alleged atrocities on the community from across the country, including the Una incident victims, will gather at Ahmedabad to take part in a conclave where they would highlight their demands.

(With PTI inputs)