Friday, December 7, 2012


Gujarat EDN
TOI 28SEP2012

Dalit fury rages in Surendranagar
ST Bus Damaged, Mob Forces Closure Of Shops

Rajkot: The anger among dalits over the killing of three youths of their community in Thangadh continues to simmer. On Thursday, tension mounted in Surendranagar town where thousands of dalit community members gathered and held a rally to condemn the killings.
    A mob also shattered glasses of a state transport (ST) bus and many even forced shopkeepers to down their shutters in the town. Thousands of dalits joined a rally from Dr B R Ambedkar statue to district collector’s office and vented their ire against chief minister Narendra Modi and junior home minister Praful Patel.
    They shouted slogans against Modi and Patel, accusing them of not taking immediate action the culprits and later even burnt their effigies. Also, Wadhwan and Patdi towns observed a complete shutdown to express their solidarity with the community.
    Three dalit youths -- Pankaj Sumra (16), Mehul Rathod (17), Prakash Parmar (26) -- were killed and one was seriously injured in police firing in Thangadh on September 22 and 23.
    Dalit leaders have also demanded the immediate release of six of their community who were arrested by police in connection with complaints filed by Thangadh police. They were booked for attempt to murder among other charges. The six dalits are under judicial custody in Surendranagar jail.
    Slogans like “They are not criminals. They are innocent. They should be released soon’’ rented the air in Surendrangar.
    As soon as protest rally marched towards collector office, angry youths started asking shopkeepers on main road to shut their shops and many were shut down forcefully. They also forced passengers to alight from the ST bus at pick up stand and then ransacked the bus.
    The community is on boil despite state CID (crime) lodging a complaint against two police sub-inspectors K P Jadeja and Bharatsinh Solanki and head constables Yogesh Gadhvi and Nathubha Andubha for murder, criminal conspiracy and atrocities.