Atrocities Against dalits Continue Unabated in Gujarat

On May 22, Jignesh Mevani, MLA from Vadgam, Gujarat, released a strongly worded statement on his Facebook page, following the killing of Rajesh Sondarva. Sondarva was a 21-year-old dalit murdered by upper caste Hindu men in Rajkot, Gujarat. Earlier in May, a village sarpach in the state’s Mehsana district issued a diktat for the social boycott of a dalit man and his family, because he rode a horse at his wedding.

Mevani titled the statement: “Gujarat: Hell on Earth for Dalits and Adivasis”. He wrote: “In 2019, the Gujarat government revealed a 32% rise in crimes against Scheduled Castes between 2013 and 2017, and a 55% rise in crimes against Scheduled Tribes for the same period”.

Mevani also reminded people that the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act (PoA Act) had been enacted to ensure that state agencies could take proactive measures to prevent atrocities. He added that the Gujarat state government had failed to either take corrective measures or to ensure that the victims and their families get justice when crimes are committed against them.…