Statement condemning atrocities against Dalits by cow vigilante groups in Una, Gujarat

Almost 24 dalits 800x480_IMAGE55723381have attempted to end their lives since July 11, 2016. Violent protests by Dalits have been taking place in Gujarat demanding stern action against the cow vigilante group members who publicly flogged a Dalit family and brutally beaten up seven Dalit men for allegedly skinning a dead cow in Una in Gir Somnath district of Saurashtra region on July 11, 2016. The victims’ contention was that they were just skinning a dead cow and had not killed it, whereas the accused alleged these dalits were involved in cow slaughter.
As many as 200 cow vigilante groups have sprung up Gujarat. They have become a law and order problem in Gujarat because of their aggression and the way they take law into their hands. With names such as Gau Raksha Samiti, Gau Raksha Ekta Samiti, they have percolated from taluka to even village level and the groups take law into their hands to deal with minorities and Dalits who run meat businesses.

However, with growing anger among the Dalit communities  all over India, the  Una police inspector and an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) in charge of the area where the alleged incident had taken place, have been suspended. Facing flak for the incident, the Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel met the dalit victims’ family at Mota Samadhiyala village in Una tehsil of Gir-Somnath district, and promised them all possible help. The Chief Minister has ordered a CID inquiry in the matter. She also announced that a designated court will be set in consultation with the High Court for speedy trial in the matter. She has asked  a Special Public Prosecutor to take up the case, adding that the investigating officer has to submit the charge sheet to the court in 60 days.


National Council of Churches in India bids churches and religious institutions to condemn such atrocities against dalits.

It calls upon the National Human Rights Commission to direct the State government to shut down such vigilante groups.

Furthermore the state authorities are strongly urged to cultivate a culture of justice and love for all in the country, ensuring that dalits,  tribals/adivasis, indeed all marginalized sections of society are given due respect and rightful opportunities for their life and livelihood. 

Pradip Bansrior                                                        Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad
Executive Secretary                                                           General Secretary 

Dalit and Tribal/adivasi Concerns                National Council of Churches in India
National Council of Churches in India

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