Dalits who are involved in disposing off dead animals in Gujarat will no longer lift carcasses off the streets, their associations announced in Ahmedabad on Sunday in protest against the public flogging of four Dalit youths earlier this month.
The announcement was made at a rally organised by more than 25 Dalit organisations under the banner of Una Dalit Atyachar Ladat Samiti.
A group of self-professed cow vigilantes stripped, tied and beat up four youths from Una earlier this month, accusing them of killing and then skinning a cow. Balubhai Sarvaiya, in his late 40s, was also beaten up.
The decision to stay away from disposing animal carcasses came at a time when a Dalit youth, who had attempted suicide by consuming acid in protest against the atrocities committed to his community in the state, died at a hospital in Ahmedabad.
Yogesh, hailing from Dhoraji in Saurashtra, was earlier treated at hospitals in Rajkot and Junagadh but was then shifted to Ahmedabad when his condition deteriorated.
The Dalit associations have also decided to take out more rallies in different parts of the state on August 5.
The rally will be led by former IPS officer Rahul Sharma, a Brahmin. Sharma, now a practicing lawyer, had taken on the then Narendra Modi government of Gujarat head on in connection with cases related to the post-Godhra riots.
Several Muslims leaders expressed solidarity with the Dalits and attended the meeting. Muslims and tribals were also seated along with Dalits on the stage.
One of the organisers of the meeting, Jignesh Mevani demanded that the Dalits be provided firearms in view of increasing attacks on them.
The participants were carrying banners of Dr B.R. Ambedkar. The meeting saw slogans of Dalits-Muslims bhai-bhai.