Dalits Convert to Buddhism to Protest Against Forgotten Land Promise

Reported by

Aditi Patil

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

April 4, 2018

April 4, 2018

Updated on

April 4, 2018

Location of Conflict

Una

Junagadh

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Caste-based Conflict

Dalits to convert to Buddhism to protest against unkempt land promise

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

500

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

728

ha

Starting Year

2016

State

Gujarat

Sector

Land Use

On July 11, 2016, five dalit men, who were called to pick up a dead cow, were attacked by a mob while skinning the dead cow in their village. Four of them were taken to the Una town, stripped and paraded in full public view. They were tied to the car and were beaten mercilessly with sticks and iron pipes by a group claiming to protect cows. This scene was videotaped by the mob itself and posted online. When it went viral, the authorities, who did not pay heed when they were called by the villagers, finally decided to act. Since the attack, Gujarat has seen several protests, with Dalit groups attempting suicide to protest the discrimination.   According to Dalit activist and Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani and the father of two of the victims, the ExChief Minister of Gujarat, Anandiben Patel, had promised the affected families that the State Government would provide 5 acres land or a government job to a family member during her visit to the village on July 20, 2016 which was covered by news channels. He also stated that she had promised to resolve the legal proceedings within 90 days through a fast track court. It's been more than 4 years since, but they continue to fight the case. On March 20, 2018, the Social Justice and Empowerment minister, Ishwar Parmar, reportedly informed the state assembly that there is no record of such a statement by the exchief minister in his written response to a starred question by activist Jignesh Mevani. In the same month, the Sarvaiya Dalit family, victims of the public flogging, submitted a memorandum to district collector seeking permission to embrace Buddhism as a mark of protest against the atrocities. Subsequently, on April 29, 2018, 300 Dalits including the family embraced Buddhism in a public ceremony, according to a news report. In January 2020, one of the victims wrote a heartfelt letter to President Rm Nath Kovind to draw attention to the condition of his family's life. In November 2020, Jayesh Solanki, the face of the Una Dalit Protest died by suicide. The court hearing for the stripping case is still going on with the Dalits having to spend thousands on travel and food to participate in the court hearings.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

No items found.

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to be allotted land

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
Section 3 (1) (d) (Parading a member of a Scheduled Caste semi-naked shall be punished with imprisonment not less than six months); Section 14 (Establishment of special courts to try cases under the Act within two months)
Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 323 [Whoever voluntarily causes hurt under this section shall be punished with imprisonment extending up to one year and fine]; Section 341 [Whoever wrongfully restraints any person under this section shall be punished with imprisonment of up to one year and fine]; Section 353 [Whoever assaults any person as per this section shall be punished with imprisonment of up to three months and fine]
Gujarat Agricultural Land Ceiling Act, 1960
Section 29 (1)(iii) [State government to allot land to agricultural laborers, with members belonging to the Scheduled Castes taking precedence over other persons]
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

Yes

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

The victims of the flogging incident had been promised a government job or five acres of land by the former Chief Minister of Gujarat. The victims had requested the newly elected government to make good on this promise. The State Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry claimed that there were no official records of any such promise being made, and hence denied an obligation to provide lands or jobs to the victims.

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Non-payment of compensation/promised compensation

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

District Court, Veraval; High Court of Gujarat

Case Number

Criminal Appeal No. 753 of 2018

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

No

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Self-immolation

Blockades

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Campaigns (grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Gujarat State Government

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

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