Exasperated over the Gujarat Police openly siding with the accused on bail, the State Government not keeping its promises and general harassments, the victims of infamous Una flogging of July 2016 have sought the President’s permission for their mercy killing.
The family of Balubhai Sarvaiya and few other Dalits of Mota Samadhiyala village in Una taluka of Gir Somnath district were mercilessly beaten up by self-appointed ‘cow vigilantes’ when they were spotted skinning a naturally dead bovine.
The flogging was video-recorded by the accused themselves to earn some quick bucks from television channels willing to pay for such visuals, but the video going viral over social media landed them in trouble.
Following nation-wide Dalit uprising against the incident, the main accused were arrested but only to be freed on bail. In a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, Vashram Sarvaiya, one of the four siblings, has sought permission for mercy killing as their life has become miserable in the two-and-half years since the flogging incident.
Firstly, the family has lost its livelihood as they had to stop their traditional trade of skinning dead cows and selling its hides due to the threats from ‘cow vigilantes’ on the prowl in Gujarat.
The accused, free on bail, are regularly threatening and attacking the family and the witnesses testifying in the case but the police are not doing anything to prevent it, Vashram informed the President in the letter written on behalf of the whole family seeking mercy killing.
“Then Chief Minister Anandiben Patel had promised to allot five acres of land to each of the victims and government jobs as per qualifications”, the letter told the President adding that no attempt has been made to fulfil these promises in the last two years and four months.
The 74 cases filed against Dalits during their agitation over the flogging incident have not yet been withdrawn and the police are not giving any protection to the victims and witnesses who travel to Veraval where the case is being heard, the family’s letter informed the President while seeking mercy killing for themselves.
Copies of the letter, dated 26 November, have been sent to the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister, Director General of Police (DGP), the District Collector and some other officials.