A video of a man being mercilessly thrashed while being tied to a wall has gone viral on social media platforms. The man in the video is being described to be a Dalit man, who reportedly succumbed to his injuries later.
Dalit youth leader and independent MLA from Gujarat Jignesh Mevani posted the video on both his Facebook and Twitter pages. He wrote on Twitter, “’Mr. Mukesh Vaniya belonging to a scheduled caste was miserably thrashed and murdered by factory owners in Rajkot and his wife was brutally beaten up’. #GujaratIsNotSafe4Dalit”
Calling the beating and subsequent death of the Dalit youth worse than the Una attack, Mevani wrote, “This is far more gruesome incident than Una. In Una, the victims were beaten up and humiliated. Whereas, here a man lost his life amidst caste violence. While, Mr. Mukesh Vaniya belonging to a scheduled caste was miserably thrashed and murdered by factory owners in Rajkot, his wife was brutally beaten up. The government of Gujarat has still not learned from its past mistakes.”
Five people, including the factory owner, have been arrested on charges of murder and under the law on atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, reported NDTV.
On Sunday morning, Mukesh Vaniya and his wife, both rag-pickers, were using magnets to look for scrap when some factory workers confronted them, accusing them of theft. Both were beaten mercilessly, but the wife managed to escape and went to get the help nearby. By the time she returned, her husband was fighting with his life.
Gujarat, which is governed by the BJP, has had a history of atrocities against Dalits in the state. In August 2016, a mob of right-wing terrorists masquerading as “gau rakshaks” had beat up two Dalits in East Godavari district after they skinned a cow which had died due to electrocution. The incident had taken place at Janakipeta in Amalapuram town of the district in Andhra Pradesh.
According to police, after the cow died following electrocution, its owner, a farmer, engaged the two Dalits, who were brothers, for skinning the animal before it was buried last night. The video of two Dalits being publicly flagged had gone viral prompting angry protests by the community across the state. The agitation had given birth to a youth leader in Mevani, who led the Dalit agitation across the state. He subsequently contested the assembly elections in December last year and won.
Only last month, as many as 45 members of Dalit families in Una were reported to have embraced Buddhism.