Una incident shows police complicity, FIR was filed against attackers only after pressure from Dalits

dalit-una2A fact-finding team consisting of Dalit rights activists and social workers went to Mota Samadhiyala village in Una block of Gir Somnath district to make an on-the-spot inquiry about the attack on four Dalit youths on charges of cow slaughter. Members of the committee — Kaushik Parmar, Dr Nitin Gurjar, Subodh Parmar, Kirit Rathod, Kantibhai Parmar, Jagdish Parmar, Kantibhai Makwana and Baldevbhai Parmar — visit to the village and Una town on July 17, 2016. Text of the report:

Place of Incident: Mota Samadhiyala village and Una Town: This village is 20 kms away from Una town. On 11th July 2016, when the youth from leather tanning caste of this village were skinning the skin of dead cows, they were attacked by dominant caste youth in the garb of protecting cows.

FIR No. I- 127/16
Date of registration of FIR – 11th July 2016-07-20
Time of registration of FIR – 07.30 pm
Sections invoked in FIR – I.P.C. sec. 307, 395, 324, 323, 504, G.P. act sec. 135 and atrocity act sec. 3 (2) 5.

Sections found missing in FIR – IPC sec 34, 364, 355, 120 (B), 506 (2). 141, 142, 143, 144, 146, 147, 149 and atrocity act sec. 3 (1) d, 3 (1) e, 3 (1) i, 3 (1) r, 3 (1) s. 3 (1) w (i) (ii)
Facts of incident:

The complainant’s father Balubhai Sarvaiya hails from leather tanning caste called as Rohit caste in Gujarat. He has been doing caste based occupation for a long period of time. He not only gets dead animals from his village, but also from the nearby villages.

Village head of Mota Samadhiyala, Prafulbhai Korat who comes from dominant caste has been harassing Balubhai for some time. He also had issued Balubhai written notices to demolish his house. 6 months back, there were some heated arguments between the village head and Balubhai and the village head challenged him “तू अभी जो धंधा कर रहा है वह बंध कर दे, तेरी मरी हुई गाये कभी भी जिन्दा हो सकती है और यह तुझे बहुत भारी पड़ेगा”. But Balubhai did not took this threat seriously.

On July 11, 2016, Balubhai got a phone call from Naajabhai Danabhai Ahir from Bediya village that his cow was attacked by a lion and has been killed he asked him to take the dead cow. So he went to bring the dead cow and brought it to Samadhiyala village. Again he got a call from Jivabhai Koli from Motisara village that his cow has died and also asked him to take the dead body of the cow. Hence Balubhai asked his son to get the dead cows. All the cows were brought in the barren land of Mota Samadhiyala village at around 10 am on July 11, 2016, by Dalit youth Vashram Sarvaiya, Ramesh Sarvaiya, Bechar Sarvaiya and Ashok Sarvaiya and they started skinning the dead cows.

Meanwhile, a four wheeler came and saw them and went away. Little later two four wheelers came and there were 30 to 35 men with sticks and iron pipes. They started shouting “ सालो जिन्दा गायोको काट रहे हो” They also started abusing them with caste based derogatory words and then started hitting the four dalit youth with sticks and rods. The victims kept on saying that these are all dead cows, but the accused kept on beating them.

A man from Devipujak caste witnessed this incident and informed Balubhai Sarvaiya on the phone that his son and other Dalit youth are been beaten up a big mob. Hence Balubhai and his wife rushed to the place of incident. They requested the mob to not beat the Dalit youth.

But the attackers did not listened to the plea and they kept on beating the four Dalit youth for one-and-a-half hours. After this the accused removed the shirts of the four Dalit youth and forced them to sit in their vehicle. Balubhai also tried to sit in the vehicle, but he was hit on the head with iron pipe by the attackers and he fall down there. His wife, who tried to save him, was also beaten up by the attackers. The attackers took the four Dalit youth towards Una town.

On the way they met a police vehicle, which asked them to stop and there was conversation between the police and the attackers that they are taking the four Dalit youth to Una town. The police told the attackers that they are going to the place of the incident. This shows that the police was involved in this atrocity.

After reaching Una town, all the four Dalit youth were tied to the back side of the four wheeler No DD.03.F.1294. On the back side of the car was written “President- Shiv Sena, District- Gir Somnath.” After tying them, the attackers started hitting the four Dalit youth with sticks and Iron pipes and took the four victims from Una Bus stand to Una police station and were put in police lock up. The entire incident was also video taped by the attackers.

Meanwhile, the 108 ambulance was sent to take the complainant Babubhai and his wife to be treated in the hospital. But the police told the ambulance driver to take them to Gir Gadhda instead of Una town. But Balubhai and wife said that they want to go to Una town for medical treatment. The police threatened them and also misbehaved with them.

Meanwhile, people of Una city also came to know that four Dalit youth were been beaten, and they started gathering at the place of incident, where the Dalit youth were being beaten. Seeing the Dalits coming around, the attackers escaped from the place of incident.

After due pressure from Dalits, late in the evening FIR was lodged against the attackers and their names are:

1. Pramodgiri Rameshgiri hailing from Simar village in Una block.
2. Balvant Dhirubhai from Una town
3. Ramesh Bhagwanbhai hailing from Saamter village
4. Rakesh hailing from Bhimpara, Una town
5. Rasik hailing from Bhimpara, Una town
6. Naagji Dahyabhai Aahir hailing from Bediya village in Gir Gadhda block.

Following are the demands:

1. In depth investigation needs to be done by a sitting high court judge and SIT panel needs to be set up immediately
2. As more than 30 attackers were involved, hence identification parade has to be done.
3. The vehicle/s used in the incident has to immediately trace and to be taken in police custody.
4. There has to be ban on cow protection “ गौ रक्षा समिति”. The state already has a law banning cow slaughter.
5. Legal action has to be taken against the village head of Mota Samadhiyala.
6. As per the amended atrocity act 2015, charge sheet has to be framed in 60 days.
7. Appointment of credible lawyer as public prosecutor, during the trial of the case.
8. Legal action against the police officers of Una police station and to be put them in the accused list.
9. The state should file a complaint against the suspected police officers under I.P.C. sec. 166 (A) and 217, 218 and as per the amended atrocity act 2015 sec 4.
10. Statement of the victims and eye witnesses to be taken under sec. 164 of Criminal procedure act.
11. Compensation of Rs. 10 lac each to be given to the victims from the chief minister’s relief fund.

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