Dalits across Gujarat Demand Land after Fellow Dalits Killed, Attacked in Una

Reported by

Aditi Patil

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

December 20, 2016

December 20, 2016

Updated on

December 20, 2016

Location of Conflict

Una

Gir Somnath

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Caste-based Conflict

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

500

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

728

ha

Starting Year

2016

State

Gujarat

Sector

Land Use

Following the attack on Dalit community by cow vigilantes in Una village in Gir Somnath district, Dalits have been demanding land to be able to live with dignity. In Una, of the 57 Dalit families, only three have got a plot of land. Most Dalits here are daily agricultural wage labourers and a few skin carcasses of dead animals. Successive governments have ignored the issue of land distribution to Dalits. On July 9, 2016, a resident of the village was brutally beaten up and hacked to death by a mob while working on his field because he allegedly 'disrespected' cows and sowed seeds on land that was not his. On July 11, five dalit men, who were called to pick up a dead cow, were attacked by a mob while skinning the animal in their village. Four of them were taken to Una town, stripped and paraded naked in full public view. The scene was videotaped by the mob and was posted online. When it went viral, the authorities, who did not pay heed when they were called by the villagers to help, sprung to action. Since the attack, Gujarat has seen largescale protests, with Dalit groups attempting suicide to protest the discrimination.   Understanding the centrality of landlessness as a basic cause of their vulnerability and deprivation in every sector of development, Dalits in the state have been demanding land ownership for redeeming their dignity. In nearby Junagadh district, three Dalit men who had been demanding land titles consumed poison and one of them died. A governor's committee, set up by India's only Dalit President K.R. Narayanan, reported that there is enough government land for distribution to every landless rural family that belongs to Scheduled Caste. According to the district collector, at least two acres can be allocated to each family, but none has got physical possession yet. In January 2017, Jignesh Mevani, convener of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch, said, There are 500 dalits across Gujarat who have been allotted land by the government but it is only on paper. The organisation has been demanding that each Dalit family be allotted at least five acres of land. To this end, Dalits have resorted to blocking traffic at several places in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar and other cities. After the stripping incident, the state's former Chief Minister Anandiben Patel visited the village and announced that the government would give funds to Dalits and other poor families in Una for the construction and repair of their houses and toilets, along with five acres of land. When this promise was followed up during a Legislative Assembly session in March 2018, state Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Ishwar Parmar said there was no question of implementing the promises as there was no official record of any such commitment. In January 2020, one of the victims wrote a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind to draw attention to their poor living condition. In November 2020, Jayesh Solanki, the face of the Una Dalit protest, died by suicide. The court hearing for the stripping case is ongoing, with the Dalits spending thousands of rupees on travel and food to attend the hearings.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Demand for promised land

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for each Dalit household in Una to be allotted five acres of land.

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Private

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest

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

Land Reform Laws, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Gujarat Agricultural Land Ceiling Act, 1960
Section 29 [Allotment of land vesting in government]
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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.

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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

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

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Lack of legal protection over land rights

Non-implementation of land reform laws

Delay in allottment and possession of land/property

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Physical attack

Killing

Other harassment

Self-immolation/suicide

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

On July 9, 2016, a resident of the village was brutally beaten up and hacked to death by a mob while working on his field because he allegedly 'disrespected' cows and sowed seeds in land that was not his. On July 11, five dalit men, who were called to pick up a dead cow, were attacked by a mob while skinning the animal in their village. Four of them were taken to Una town, stripped and paraded in full public view. In nearby Junagadh district, three Dalit men who had been demanding land titles consumed poison and one of them died. In November 2020, Jayesh Solanki, the face of the Una Dalit protest, died by suicide.

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Una village

Nature of Protest

Blockades

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Campaigns (grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Government of Gujarat

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:  

Image Credit:  

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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