Vol. XL No. 31 July 31, 2016

DELHI: DSMM Protests against Attacks on Dalits By Cow Vigilantes in Gujarat

Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch (DSMM) organised a protest on July 25 against the increasing atrocities on dalits in Gujarat and seeking a ban on the cow protection committee vigilantes. Hundreds of activists in spite of the rains stayed put and expressed their anger through the protest. Brahmjeet Singh, president DSMM–NCR, presided over the protest meeting. Brinda Karat, ex MP and Polit Bureau Member of CPI(M), Nathu Prasad, general secretary, DSMM- NCR, G Mamatha, DSMM national convening committee member, Maimoona Mollah, AIDWA, Vinod Rawat, convenor of DSMM - Uttar Pradesh, Dharmchand, Rohtas and Usha Saroha addressed the gathering.


Brinda Karat who visited the victims gave a firsthand account of the events on the ground. She said that, “The people because of their acute economic conditions and social coercion are working as scavengers disposing off the dead animals. On that particular day they were called by a farmer saying that his cow died and it had to be taken away. When four dalits who are engaged in this occupation were returning after taking the animal carcass in a vehicle were apprehended by more than forty persons and were taken hostage and beaten badly. And only 16 people are arrested and the rest who are roaming freely shows how serious the government is on the issue.”


She also added that “In the name of cow protection these rogue elements are making money and terrorising the people. Also, there is a clear hand of some police aiding the cow vigilantes as they had batons that are used by riot police.”  She also mentioned that it was a planned attack as the victims’ families informed her that the village sarpanch would implicate them in a case if they did not listen to him. The dalits of Gujarat have erupted in anger against the atrocities. Brinda said to the youth who tried to commit suicide in protest that “life was too precious and we should fight the injustices jointly and that the red flag would be at their side in the struggles.”


Addressing the gathering, Nathu Prasad pointed out the difficult and desperate conditions the dalits are living in this country. He said that the economic status of the dalits has to be improved and that we should take out struggles in that direction.