Seven Dalit youths attempted suicide in two separate incidents in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat on Tuesday in protest against increasing atrocities against Dalits in the state.
The suicide bids took place even as Bahujan Samajwadi Party leader Mayawati took up the issue of self-styled cow-protection vigilantes beating four Dalit youths for allegedly killing a cow in Una town of Gir-Somnath district last week.
Official sources said that five youth tried to kill themselves by consuming some substance (which was poisonous) in Gondal taluka. Two others attempted suicide in Jamkandorana town of Rajkot district.
The ones who attempted suicide were immediately taken to local hospitals.
They had driven three vehicles carrying carcasses of animals to the Collector’s office. They also threatened to stop lifting dead animals from the villages if action was not initiated against the guilty in the atrocity case.
Video of men beating half-naked members of the Dalit community had gone viral last week.
The state government on its part said that one police inspector and three police constables were suspended.
Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel tweeted that her government had sanctioned Rs 1 lakh per person to the victims.