The protests by Dalits in Gujarat are fast spreading leading to violence in several parts of the state.
People staged protests in Ahmedabad and several other areas casuing violence that killed a policeman. There are also reports of state transport buses being torched and roads blocked.
According to a report in Indian Express, at least two more persons attempted suicide after seven tried to end their lives on Monday. Dalits in the state have been protesting the public flogging of four youth for allegedly skinning a cow in Una in Gir Somnath district.
Chief Minister Anandiben Patel announced has appealed for calm adding that she would visit Balu Sarvaiya and his family members who were brutally assaulted by a gau raksha group and are now being treated at the Rajkot civil hospital.
In the first of a series of tweets, the Chief Minister said: “Seven more arrested in Una case, total 16 accused held till now. State govt is taking strict action against all accused.”
The issue has become hugely political as Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, too said he will visit Una on Friday.
Meanwhile, Congress MP Ahmed Patel, tweeted: “Failure of authorities to protect Dalits in Gujarat is absolutely shocking. Is it the Gujarat Model? Independent probe is need of the hour.”
This after a video of right-wing cow protection vigilantes mercilessly thrashing four Dalits had gone viral on social media.
In the video four half-naked youth, are seen being thrashed by men belonging to the right-wing gau raksha group.
The incident took place on 11 July in Gujarat’s Somnath.
The bystanders are seen filming the episode but they refuse to intervene.
Such incidents have sharply risen in the last two years particularly in BJP-ruled states.
Last month, two Muslim youth were forced to eat cow dung in another BJP-ruled state Haryana by right-wing thugs on suspicion of being beef smugglers.