In Gujarat Village, Upper-caste Residents Flood Dalit Cemetery with Sewage Water

Reported by

Rejitha NairLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

June 11, 2021

Location of Conflict

Vanthal Village, Viramgam tehsil

Ahmedabad

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Other Kind of Land Use

Upper castes filling Dalit cemetery with sewage water

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

5000

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

0

ha

Starting Year

2020

State

Gujarat

Sector

Land Use

Mukti Dham, a Dalitonly cemetery in Vanthal village, Viramgam tehsil, Ahmedabad, has been flooded with sewage water allegedly by the uppercaste residents of nearby Ashtavinayak housing society since January 2020. Because of the flooding, the cemetery can no longer be used and the Dalit residents have to carry the body of their dead for more than five kilometres for cremation. The Dalits have been using the cemetery for many decades, which was allocated to the community by the district collector. According to Kirit Rathod, chairperson of Dalit Adhikar Manch, clashes between the Dalits and the upper caste in this area are common. He alleges that the cemetery has been flooded on purpose to humiliate the Dalit community and cause them unnecessary hardship. The cemetery where our kinsfolk lay buried has turned into a swampland. They were humiliated when they were alive. And now, even after they have died, the uppercaste people are heaping insult on them by purposefully discharging their solid and liquid waste into our final resting place, Rathod told the media. Dalit Adhikar Manch had written a letter to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani demanding strict action, following which the municipal corporation had swung into action and visited the site to check how the contaminated water was being diverted to the cemetery. The municipal authorities have so far issued two notices to the chairperson of Ashtavinayak society under Section 133 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which empowers the district magistrate to take appropriate action to remove any nuisance or obstruction from a public place. But nothing has changed on the ground and the cemetery continues to be flooded. "We are planning to organise largescale protests and roadblocks if there are no further developments," Rathod told LCW. Meanwhile, the Dalit community of Viramgam, along with Dalit Adikhar Manch, raised funds to fill the land and convert a plot near the cemetery into a burial ground.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Enquiry into the matter and strict action againt those responsible for diverting sewage water to the cemetery

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

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

  1. The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973

    Section 133 [Order for removal of nuisance]

  2. Indian Penal Code, 1860

    Sections 268 and 290 [Section 268 governs public nuisance and Section 290 prescribes the punishment for nuisance]

  3. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989

    Sections 3(c), 3(g), 3(t), 3za(A) [These sections apply to insult to SC/STs, wrongful dispossession of land, defiling sacred property and obstructing access to common property]

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:

Forced evictions/ Dispossession of Land, Lack of legal protection over land rights

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

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Other harassment

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?

Reported Details of the Violation:

People from the SC community have been denied decent burial since January 2020. They have to travel five kilometres to bury their dead or fill the land with soil and cover it before burying them in the cemetery.

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Mukti Dham

Nature of Protest

Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials , Protests/marches, Campaigns (Grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Viramgam Municipality

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

No

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

No

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
No Images Available

Documented By

Rejitha Nair

Reviewed By

Rejitha Nair

Updated By

Rejitha Nair

Edited By

Rejitha NairLand Conflict Watch
X

Support our work

Your contribution ensures continuity of this crucial project.

As a member, you will get exclusive access to special reports, policy papers and research projects undertaken by Land Conflict Watch and behind-the-scenes interactions with the writers and researchers about their work.
Contribute Now