The Una flogging incident sparked a Dalit movement in Gujarat, but this seems to have had no effect as atrocities against Dalits saw a steep increase in the state.
According to RTI figures, the state registered 1,515 cases under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in 2017, the highest number in 17 years.
According to figures obtained through RTI by Mehsana-based Dalit activist Kaushik Parmar, these 1,515 cases include 25 murders, 71 severe assaults and 103 cases of Dalit women being raped. The figures show that atrocities on Dalits have increased year-on-year instead of lessening.
The number of atrocity cases in the state jumped from 1,046 in 2015 to 1,355 in 2016, an increase of 309. In 2017, the so-called model state of Gujarat registered a further increase of 160 cases.
Shockingly, Ahmedabad registered the highest number of atrocity cases in 2017, 121, which includes five murders and 17 rapes. The data clearly shows that caste-based discrimination is as widespread in cities, contradicting the notion that casteist discrimination is a rural problem.
It needs mention that In July 2016, Gujarat witnessed a Dalit movement after a video of four Dalit animal skinners being flogged by gau rakshaks in Una spread on social media. In September 2012, three Dalit youths were killed by police firing in Thangadh town of Surendranagar district. The report of the Thangadh case inquiry committee set up by the government has not yet been made public.
Keywords : Atrocities, Dalits, Gujarat, hindutva, bjp