• Bhed-Bharat: Gujarat

    Martin Macwan

    April 22, 2019

    Edited by Martin Macwan, Bhed-Bharat is a comprehensive account of the injustices and atrocities committed against dalits and adivasis between 2014 and 2018. Divided into zones (North, West, South, East and Central) and further sub-divided into states, the book also attempts to distinguish between incidents that may not be seen as “atrocities” but would qualify as “injustices” — and these also need to be addressed institutionally. The data has been collected from incidents reported mainly in the newspapers. In the Introduction to the book, Macwan says that he has tried to give the book the form of a story and this serves to bring to life the people involved.

    Over the last five years, Gujarat has been the hotbed of hate crimes and caste-based atrocities, with one of the worst of such incidents having been committed in Una when a mob of "Gau Rakshaks" flogged and stripped a group of young dalits, claiming they had skinned a cow. The following excerpt describes a sample of atrocities against dalits and adivasis in Gujarat between 2014 and 2018.  

    Gujarat

    DALITS

    2014
    Around 32.9 per cent of all convicts and 23.4 per cent of under-trials in Gujarat’s prisons are Dalits, a community that forms just about 6.7 per cent of the state’s overall population.
    The statistics are part of a recently released National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report titled ‘Prison Statistics India 2013’, which relates to different aspects of prisons and prison inmates in Indian jails.
    Put simply, the data suggests that the proportion of Dalits among Gujarat’s convicts is nearly 4.9 times higher than their share in the state’s population, with its under-trial numbers up to 3.5 times higher.
    This disparity has long been cited by activists as proof of widespread discrimination against vulnerable communities. However, the NCRB study provides no reason for the high rate of Dalit convicts and under-trials.
    According to the report, as of December 2013, there are 3,808 convicts in Gujarat. Out of these, 1,251 were members of the Scheduled Castes (SCs) or Dalits, 624 of the Scheduled Tribes (STs) or Adivasis, 1,360 Other Backward Classes, and 573 ‘others’. Out of a total of 7,604 undertrials, 1,778 are SCs, 1,405 STs, 2,718 OBCs and 1,703 ‘others’.
    Interestingly, a comparison with other states suggests that the gap between the proportion of Dalit prisoners and their overall numbers in Gujarat is higher than any other part of India. Assam is a distant second in the list, with SCs comprising 18.2 per cent of all convicts and 17.7 per cent of under-trials against an overall population share of 7.2 per cent.
    The report also puts the number of Muslim convicts (23.3 per cent) and under-trials (23.6 per cent) at a proportion much higher than their share in the population, which stands at 9.1 per cent. Muslims make up for 886 of the state’s total 3,808 convicts, and 1,796 of its 7,604 under-trials.
    The disparity between their proportion among Gujarat’s prisoners and overall population is quite high – 2.6 times – even though it is lower than the gap in Odisha, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand.
    A comparison with the national average would suggest that, while Dalits and Muslims constitute a higher proportion of convicts and under-trials vis-vis their population, the all-India difference is not as wide as Gujarat’s.
    At the national level, the data shows that while Muslims constitute around 13.4 per cent of India’s population, they make up for 19 per cent of prison inmates – 17.1 per cent of all convicts and 21 per cent of under-trials. The situation with regard to SCs is not very different. As against their population strength of 16.2 per cent, SCs constitute 22.5 per cent of convicts and 21.3 per cent of under-trials.
    India today (14 November, 2014)

    2015
    Four teachers of a trust-run school in Tharad town of Banaskantha District in Gujarat were booked for abetment to suicide, after a 16-year-old Dalit student of Class X hanged himself in his house, in Ambedkar Society on Mulupur road in Tharad. This was reportedly after the teachers allegedly thrashed him in the school on Monday.
    The school, Shree Gayatri Vidyalaya, is run by the Shree Tharad Taluka Aanjana Patel Kelavni Mandal, whose founding trustee is BJP MLA Parbat Patel.
    Police station house officer Rewabhai Gujarati said, “The boy was a Dalit and his community members gathered in large numbers outside the school and pelted stones, broke window panes and even torched some portions of the school building in protest. The victim was allegedly severely beaten up by four school teachers — Sangaram Patel, G K Patel, B M Patel and Bhathiji Thakore — all of whom have been named in the FIR.”
    According to the complaint lodged by victim’s father, Kishan Chauhan, the boy came back from school on Monday afternoon and narrated the entire incident to his father, stating that four teachers pushed him inside a classroom and beat him up severely. They had locked the classroom from inside so that he couldn’t escape. The teachers also allegedly tried to hit him with a foot-ruler and duster, the police added.
    His father was out for two hours and there was no one else at home, the police said. When he returned, he saw his body hanging from the hook of the fan.
    The Indian Express (18 February, 2015)

    2015
    Separate anganwadi centres for Dalits and other castes are reportedly running in Hajipur village of Patan District in Gujarat. A few weeks ago, a three-year-old Dalit girl, lost in conversation with her friend, had walked towards the anganwadi, but was stopped at the gate and asked to go to the anganwadi for children of Dalits.
    Anganwadi Centre No. 160 in Hajipur is meant for children of the influential Patidar and Brahmin communities and Dalit children can only go to anganwadi No. 159.
    Taking suo moto cognisance of the matter, the National Human Rights Commission, has observed that the reports, if true, had raised a serious issue of violation of human rights of Dalits. Accordingly, it has issued a notice to the Gujarat government’s Secretary, Women and Child Development Department, calling for a report within two weeks.
    Patels and Patidars constitute nearly 70 per cent of population in Hajipur, which is a village of about 2,000 people. Forty Dalit houses are spread over in two mohallas of the village.

    The Hindu (14 November, 2015)

    2016
    On July 11, a shocking video of seven Dalit men being brutally beaten up by a group of gau-rakshaks for allegedly skinning a dead cow in Gujarat’s Una Taluka surfaced. In the video, some of the victims were seen tied to a car, while the accused were beating them up. It was later reported that the victims were also paraded and flogged publicly all the way to the police station. The incident sparked off protests, and police arrested two of the accused the next day.
    In the video, it could be clearly seen that while the Dalits were thrashed in front of the police station, the police stood there as mute witnesses.
    The cow was killed by a lion in the nearby village and the Sarpanch of the village had called Dalits of Samadhiyala to come and take away the carcass. The details emerging also suggests that the piece of land on which Dalits had been skinning the carcass was the bone of contention as the Sarpanch of the village and one of the accused had an eye on the same.
    The Sarpanch had earlier threatened the Dalit victims.
    However, Dalits held a rally and blocked traffic in the main square of Una town of the District. After the police intervened and tried to persuade them, the protesters dispersed and allowed vehicular movement. Later, a delegation of the community went to the office of Una Mamlatdar and submitted a memorandum demanding public thrashing of the gau-rakshaks who attacked and insulted their community members.
    A week later, a Congress councillor and four other Dalits attempted suicide in front of police station in Gondal by allegedly consuming phenyl, alleging inaction by the authorities in the case. Policemen, who had been deployed in anticipation of the act, snatched away bottles from the five and a team of paramedics, which had been stationed there, started treating them on the spot. “They were carrying separate bottles of phenyl. But our team stationed on the spot prevented them from drinking it. However, as a precautionary measure, doctors are performing stomach-wash. The five are normal and can be discharged from hospital any moment,” Gondal city police inspector Vijay Chaudhary had told The Indian Express.
    A group of Dalits also camped outside the office of the District Collector in Surendrangar with animal carcasses loaded in five vehicles. They also demanded strict action against those who tortured the Dalits and threatened that they will stop disposing animal carcasses if attacks continued on their community members. Later the carcasses were left in the office of the Collector with a message that Dalits will not handle the cleaning of carcass work anymore. There are several villages where the Dalits gave up the many-generations-old occupation of disposal and skinning the carcass.
    With growing anger in the Dalit community, the Superintendent of Police suspended Una police inspector and an assistant sub-inspector(ASI) in charge of the area where the alleged incident had taken place. The suspensions came on the day a member of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) met the victim family.
    Facing flak for the incident, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel ordered a CID inquiry in the matter. She also announced that a designated Court will be set up in consultation with the High Court for speedy trial in the matter. She asked for a Special Public Prosecutor to take up the case, adding that the investigating officer has to submit the charge sheet to the Court within 60 days. The Chief Minister said that the state government would bear all the medical expenses of the victims. As per the latest information the government of Gujarat still has not given the land and other welfare measures as promised, and has contended that the Government does not have any record of such promises given.
    However, a policeman was killed in mob violence and a Dalit committed suicide as protests against the incident snowballed across Saurashtra region. Over a dozen people, including seven policemen, were injured in incidents of stone-throwing in Amreli. This was followed by five more cases of attempted suicide by Dalits. The total number of attempted suicide cases later went up to 12. Resorting to stone-throwing and sit-ins, the protesters blocked traffic on the main highway to Rajkot and Jamnagar.
    The state transport authority cancelled buses on several routes in Rajkot, Porbandar and Junagadh Districts. There was also an attack on two state buses in Amreli by a mob of 2000 men. Nearly 90 per cent of bus trips scheduled in Jamnagar, Rajkot, Junagadh and Amreli divisions were cancelled, affecting the movement of three lakh passengers – that forced the Chief Minister to appeal for peace. In all, 500 protesters were arrested from different parts of Saurashtra for indulging in violence, arson, stone-pelting and vandalising public transport buses.
    The issue also rocked the Parliament when the monsoon session began. The opposition attacked the BJP government for failing to maintain social harmony in Gujarat. Navsarjan report on untouchability was mentioned in the Parliament. While JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav sought a ban on ‘Gau Rakshaks’, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the rising crime against Dalits is a cause of worry. BSP supremo Mayawati too condemned the thrashing of Dalits in Una and said it’s unfortunate that Dalits remained marginalised despite BJP, Congress long tenures after independence. “Even after the constitution was laid down by Baba Ambedkar, Dalits still have not received their full rights,” said Mayawati.
    A Public Interest Litigation was filed in the Supreme Court of India on the violence perpetrated by organizations such as the Gau-rakshak to which the editor of this book was a party.
    The Indian Express (22 July, 2016); Editor’s note

    2017
    On 1 October 2017, the BJP President commenced a ‘Gaurav Yatra’ from Karmsad, Sardar Patel’s native town. He ignored the dead body of a 21-year-old Dalit youth Jayesh Solanki at a Karamsad hospital.
    Navratri was being celebrated across Gujarat with traditional Garba and Dandia songs and dances. In Bhadaraniya village of Borsad Taluka, Dalit girls had joined the Garba circle of dance. Jayesh and two of his friends were among the Dalit young men present, watching the dance from a distance. Patel men asked, “Why are you standing here,” picked a quarrel with him and beat him up.
    Eight persons attacked him. His head was smashed into a wall and he fainted. He was shifted immediately to Karamsad hospital but he died on the way. Due to non-availability of an ambulance, he was taken on a motorcycle.
    Earlier, Dalit houses were set on fire in Bhadaraniya village.
    (Personal experience – Ed.)

    2018
    A Dalit woman’s funeral procession was carried out under police protection at Nani Pingli village of Panchamahal District in central Gujarat on Saturday after people belonging to the upper caste Darbar community allegedly objected to the traditional route being taken by Dalits to carry their dead to the graveyard.
    Police have registered an FIR against 12 persons on the basis of a complaint filed by one 33-year-old Dinesh Solanki, the son of the deceased.
    According to the FIR registered with Kalol police station, when the funeral procession of Ganga, who died of a heart attack, was passing through a locality, dominated by Darbar community, on Saturday morning, some members of the upper caste community stopped them from going ahead. They also allegedly beat up Dinesh and used casteist slurs, according to the FIR. “We received a complaint that Dalits were not being allowed to carry out their funeral procession from their traditional route. So, a police team immediately rushed to the spot, and the funeral procession was carried out under police protection,” said Panchmahal Superintendent of Police R V Chudasama, adding that police personnel have been also deployed at Dinesh’s residence.

    The Times of India (5 February, 2018); The Indian Express (5 February, 2018)

    2018
    Dalits of a village in Gujarat’s Mehsana District on Friday carried a body to the local police station in protest, after two persons allegedly stopped the funeral procession, an official said. However, police said that the incident, which took place in Vav village in Kheralu Taluka in Gujarat’s Mehsana, was not about Dalit discrimination and it was linked to land ownership.
    “The body of Khodidas Rawat, a Dalit, was being taken to the crematorium in the morning today when the funeral procession was stopped by two persons identified as Lala Chaudhary and Petha Chaudhary,” said sub inspector T B Vala of Satlasana police station.
    “These two persons claimed that the road leading to the crematorium was situated on land owned by them. Thus, Dalits came to Satlasana police station with the dead body,” Vala said.
    Once the news of the incident spread, local Dalit leaders as well as government officials rushed to the police station.
    “After deliberations, the two persons agreed to let the procession pass but not before they were detained. Police cleared the road and later the last rites of Rawat were held without any problem,” Mr Vala said.
    NDTV (1 September, 2018)

     

    ADIVASIS

    2014
    Three different surveys have reached a similar conclusion: They have revealed that as many as 94 per cent children in the tribal regions of the state stretching from Ambaji in the north to the Dangs in the south were stunted or undernourished.
    The studies added to the findings of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India’s report that had pointed to numerous gaping holes in the implementation of the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) in anganwadis.
    In October 2013, the CAG found that the March 2012 monthly progress report said that every third child in the state was underweight. Gujarat stood a poor 20th in the malnutrition scale in 2012 with Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand doing better in reducing malnutrition levels from 2007 and 2011.
    The organisations, which conducted the malnutrition surveys, pointed out that there was a strong link between the state of the anganwadis and the extent of malnutrition in the state. The state needed 75,000 anganwadi centres but only 67 per cent were running.
    The first survey by the Surat-based Centre for Social Studies (CSS) found malnutrition levels in 849 children to be as high as 94 per cent. The children were in the age group of five years to 15 years and live in 20 villages of tribal-dominated Dediapada Taluka (tehsil) of Narmada District in South Gujarat. Some 96 per cent of the population living here are tribal.
    A visit by a correspondent to the tribal region of Devgadh Baria in Central Gujarat revealed that most villages here had little access to anganwadis as well as primary and community health centres. A cursory look showed that the public health machinery had not reached many parts of this region. The reasons for malnutrition were that most children did not have access the mid-day meal scheme and the anganwadis were in a pathetic state.
    Another study carried out by Child Rights and You (CRY) among 249 anganwadis in 17 Districts across the tribal belt said, a whopping 65 per cent had no or very poor toilet facilities, 34 per cent lack working weighing scales to gauge a child’s nutrition levels, 28 per cent are bereft of a regular health check-up and 30 per cent do not have utensils to prepare and serve food to children.
    (India Today 7 December, 2014)

    2015
    His name is Kanti. His native town is Kaachhel village on the Gujarat-Madhya Pradesh border. In 2015, this tribal child studying in class three received the first prize for an environmentally-oriented illustration on ‘Clean India’. Kanti was taken to Gandhinagar and Chief Minister Anandiben Patel honoured him.
    After his fifth standard, Kanti dropped out. He was the eldest of five brothers and sisters. It was difficult for the parents to feed eight in the family. Hence Kanti started working as a wage worker along with his parents. His painting kept hanging on the wall of his raw cottage, made of bamboo sticks.
    Kanti Rathwa started working along with his parents as a daily wage worker in Surendranagar. He did not know that the textbook board of the Gujarat State had printed the painting drawn by him on the cover of the textbook on environment.
    Kanti, like an adult, said, “My parents did not want me to leave my studies, but I was distressed to see the situation of our family, hence dropped out!”
    Finding that Kanti’s painting had been published on the front cover of the textbook on environment, the school teacher tried to find where he was. Finally, he was located in Surendranagar, working as a wage worker. His teacher approached Kanti’s parents and persuaded Kanti to return to the village. Kanti started studying in the Eklavya Model Residential School at Puniyakhant village in Chhota Udaipur District.
    BBC Gujarati (2 August, 2018)

    2016
    Several Adivasis, who migrated to Gujarat’s Morbi District four months ago to earn a better wage, and were held captive by the owner of a ceramic tile factory, were finally rescued. They belonged to Beldih village in Bokaro’s Pindrajoda Gram Panchayat and had migrated to work in a Morbi ceramic factory as they badly needed a job.
    Of them, two workers managed to escape the factory and returned home, and brought the news of the confinement of others, prompting villagers to approach the Bokaro deputy commissioner. Another worker’s mother was in a shock to learn about the torture of her son and how he survived on a once-a-day meal given to him.
    Bokaro deputy commissioner Rai Mahimapat Ray informed the Morbi administration about the illegal detention of these workers, following which the workers – Mithun Hembram, Sunil Soren, Ajay Soren, Ganeshwar Manjhi, Sanatan Marandi and Karn Vansda – were rescued.
    Ray said 22 more workers from the District were in captivity at different factories in Gujarat.
    The Times of India (14 February, 2016)

    2016
    The name of this 20-year-old tribal youth is Salim Sine Bage. His hometown is Jharsuguda District’s Tarangpada in the state of Odisha. In the 12th standard examinations in the science stream, he received 59% marks. He got admission in a science college in Rourkela, but he did not have any money to buy clothes and books. His father worked as a casual labourer to make two ends meet.
    Around this time, Salim came in contact with Haren Samad, who promised him good pay. He was taken to Madhupura village in Saurashtra. He got job in a brick-kiln unit.
    As he started work in the brick-kiln unit, his mobile phone was taken away and he was kept under virtual confinement. Along with Salim, 40 others from Odisha were working there. Nobody was being paid wages regularly. After 20 days, Salim escaped and reached home.
    When he reached home, he got a laptop, as his name appeared among a list of bright students prepared by the Odisha government. On September 14, his father accepted the laptop.
    The Times of India (October 5, 2016)

    2016
    Gujarat had the fifth highest rate of neonatal deaths among Adivasis, 56.5 per 1,000 births. The overall neo-natal death rate in the state was 39.6 per 1,000 births. The state also had the fifth highest infant mortality rate and under-five child mortality rate.
    The National Family Health Survey-3, (NFHS-3), conducted in 2005-06, stated that in Gujarat, the overall neonatal mortality rate was 35.9 per 1,000 live births, but this was 53 among Scheduled Tribes. Similarly, infant mortality rate (IMR), for children younger than one year, was 47.3 per 1,000 live births in Gujarat, but was 86 among Scheduled Tribes.
    Officials in the health department said, the under-five mortality among Scheduled Tribes was nearly double that of the general population. The under-five mortality rate in Gujarat was 55.7 per 1,000 live births, but among Scheduled Tribes it was 115.8 deaths per 1,000 live births.
    The Times of India (8 December, 2016)

    2017
    Two teenage girls were gang-raped by six men in front of their father in a moving vehicle in Devgadh Baria Taluka of Gujarat’s Dahod District. Kumat Baria, Gopsinh Baria and others abducted the two sisters, aged 13 and 15, and their father from his shop in Bhutpagla village. The accused forced them into an SUV and raped the girls. Four others followed the vehicle on two motorcycles.
    The accused later dropped the two girls and their father near Mandav village and warned them not to go to the police.
    Kumat Baria told the victims’ father that he wanted to take revenge because his son, who was arrested in a prohibition case, told police he used to procure liquor from Kumat. The police subsequently filed a case against Kumat. Police sent the girls to a government hospital in Devgarh Baria for treatment.
    Sub-inspector DG Raval said five people — Kumat Baria, Ganpat Baria, Narvat Baria, Suresh Naik and Gopsinh Baria — had been arrested in connection with the incident, while a hunt was on for the other accused. A case was registered against 13 people under Section 376 (gang-rape) and other sections of the IPC as well as under the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
    (Hindustan Times 16 March, 2017)

    2017
    Gujarat has many quartz-crushing factories. Tribal families from Alirajpur, Jhabua and Dhar, the Madhya Pradesh Districts bordering Gujarat, are forced to migrate to work in these factories because there is no work in their villages. Due to lack of irrigation facilities, they are also compelled to depend on rain-fed single crop cultivation, which makes survival almost impossible.
    Susceptible to Silicosis, they contract the fatal disease because they are forced to inhale dust from the blasting of quartz which fills the environment. They are not given any protective gear, either.
    The quartz crushing factories in Gujarat are notorious for their poor health and safety standards at work. Shockingly, though a large number of workers working in these quartz-crushing factories contracted Silicosis directly from their work environment, there is no recorded evidence of their having worked in these factories at all!
    They neither have an identity card issued under the Factories Act or an ESI card. They were deliberately not given any identification as this would become evidence when they wish to appeal and realise their legal rights as workers.
    Therefore, not one of them, affected or not affected by Silicosis, is eligible for compensation under any law. This extends to medical leave, medical expenses, retirement benefits, medical pension or even compensation to their families in the event of their deaths.
    As per collected data, a total of 589 people had died across the three Districts of Alirajpur, Jhabua and Dhar. The disease had affected hundreds of families who had lost one or more earning member, leaving them in a precarious economic situation.
    All these years, there was no attempt by successive governments in Gujarat to compensate the families of the deceased Silicosis patients, despite a NHRC compensation recommendation issued in 2010. Not a single family of the deceased received any compensation.
    Of all the deaths that happened in these villages (almost 66% in Jhabua, 53% in Alirajpur and 73% in Dhar) were between the ages of 19 and 35.
    Similarly, of the patients who were alive but had lost complete or partial capacity to work, almost 65% in Jhabua, 54% in Alirajpur and 60% in Dhar were between 19 and 35 years of age. This created severe economic impact on families who have lost earning members of peak productive age. The larger picture was that the state stood to lose a slice of its young work force.
    Though it formulated a Silicosis Policy dated September 15, 2011, the Government of Madhya Pradesh did not implement the Policy nor did it provide rehabilitation to the Silicosis-affected patients. A survey revealed that the number of patients across the 105 surveyed villages of Alirajpur, Jhabua and Dhar, who have received any government benefits under employment, housing, regular pensions or agriculture related support is miniscule:
    A minute 7% of the total affected families got work under MGNREGA in 2011, 7.6% in 2012, which dwindled down to 3.2% in 2013, 1.2% in 2014 and 0.7% in 2015.
    21.2% of the affected families were granted housing under the Indira Awaas Yojana, and a tiny 6% got both instalments to build a house.
    Few were issued the Deen Dayal Treatment card and only 4.7% had the ‘Silicosis Priority’ stamps on their cards, as recommended in the Silicosis Policy of the MP Government.
    Only 19.7% families received some kind of standard pensions (widow/old age/disability etc.) for a period of time and now only 10% receives these pensions (the rate of discontinuation is more than 49%). Nobody received the Rs. 1500 monthly pension as mentioned by the MP Government in their reply to the Supreme Court, dated March 2015.
    However, the Supreme Court passed a milestone judgment on May 4, 2016 directing the Gujarat Government to pay a compensation of Rs. 3 lakh each to the kin of 238 deceased and the Madhya Pradesh Government to rehabilitate 304 ailing patients within a month, as identified by NHRC.
    The Supreme Court-appointed Investigation Committee confirmed that while families of 390 deceased workers were still waiting to be compensated, another 1359 ailing patients were struggling without any effective rehabilitation. The Court gave a week’s time to the Govt of Madhya Pradesh to respond.
    Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan, arguing for the petitioner, Silicosis Peedit Sangh, pointed out how Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) conducted hurried inspection of the erring quartz crushing factories of Gujarat, where workers had contracted Silicosis. GPCB’s inspection reports showed that they had visited 30 factories spread across multiple Talukas in three Districts in just twelve hours!
    The Citizen (14 May, 2017)

    2018
    The incident relates to Manjipura village of Khedbrahma Taluka of Gujarat. Here, a factory was buying land for the purpose of establishing a solar power station. Adivasis were protesting against it peacefully. Adivasis constitute 75.38% of the population of the Taluka.
    Ten Adivasis were arrested under Section 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Under this section, the police have no power of detention for more than 24 hours.
    After the arrest, the police presented them before the Mamlatdar, who refused to grant them bail. The Mamlatdar sent them to jail saying that the protesters were guilty under the Criminal Procedure Code Section 344.
    Section 344 applies only to a crime when a Judicial Magistrate feels that the person concerned is presenting false evidence. Under this Section, there is no authority with the Mamlatdar to send anyone to jail. Yet, the Mamlatdar sent them to jail on 17th May.
    All of them were released on May 28, 2018, following a habeas corpus petition in the High Court of Gujarat on refusal to release the protesters.
    The High Court was surprised to note the detention of Adivasis even though Mamlatdar or the police had no right to illegally keep anyone in detention for 12 days.
    A plea was made before the High Court to ask the state government to end all the proceedings against the Adivasis.
    The High Court issued notice against the PSI and the Mamlatdar, who had ordered the Adivasis to be sent to jail. When the District Police Chief filed an affidavit on behalf of the PSI, the High Court called it “inappropriate”. It said, this was happening for the first time when the affidavit was being produced on behalf of a person who was issued notice.
    The Times of India (10 July, 2018)


    This is a first of a mini-series on Bhed-Bharat's coverage of atrocities and injustices against dalits and adivasis between 2014 and 2018.

    Martin Macwan has been active for the last 40 years in the field of combating untouchability and caste-based prejudices in Gujarat and other parts of India. He is the founder of Navsarjan Trust (1989) and Dalit Shakti Kendra (1999).

    This is an excerpt from Bhed-Bharat, edited by Martin Macwan. Published by Dalit Shakti Prakashan and republished here with permission from the publisher.

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