Una Dalit assault: Victims to embrace Buddhism

Una Dalit assault: Victims to embrace Buddhism
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Ahmedabad: A Dalit family, that was allegedly beaten up by cow vigilantes for skinning the carcass of the animal in Una tehsil in Gujarat, have decided to embrace Buddhism.

In July last year, seven Dalits of Mota Samadhiyala village were allegedly paraded and flogged for skinning a dead cow, an incident that caused nation-wide outrage after its video went viral.

Later, four of these Dalit youths were taken to Una town, where they were tied up with a vehicle and allegedly thrashed by the cow vigilantes.

A member of the Dalit family has alleged that the state government did not fulfil its promise to give jobs and a piece of land to the victims.

“We have decided to convert to Buddhism as we have faced a lot of discrimination due to our traditional profession for skinning dead animals,” Vashram Sarvaiya said, the eldest of three brothers who were beaten up by a group of cow vigilantes on July 11, 2016, near their village along with their father when they were skinning dead cows.

“We are yet to finalise the date, but we have asked the community members to come together and convert to Buddhism in large numbers,” he told PTI.

Sarvaiya alleged that the government did not constitute a special court to try the case of assault — as was promised by then Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.

“The accused are roaming free after they were released on bail, and the case drags on. We haven’t been given anything as promised by the state government.

“All we have got was Rs 3 lakh that is given to Dalit victims in atrocity cases, but most of the money was spent on litigation and medicines as our father Ashok Sarvaiya continues to suffer due to the thrashing and needs to be taken to a Ahmedabad hospital for treatment,” he said.

With most of the accused out on bail, the family members are scared of stepping out of their home, Sarvaiya said.

The matter came to light after a video of flogging, allegedly made by the cow vigilantes, went viral on social media platforms.

The police had arrested 20 people in the matter.

–PTI