On July 11, while skinning the carcass of a cow bought from a nearby village, seven Dalit youth in Mota Samadhiyala village were rounded up by upper-caste criminals belonging to ‘cow protection committee’ and brutally beaten with iron rods alleging that the youth had killed a cow to skin it. Afterwards, the youth writhing in pain were tied with ropes, taken to Una town, paraded in the town and brutally beaten turn by turn by several upper caste people. The perpetrators filmed some of their acts and circulated through social media to congratulate themselves and threaten Dalits and minorities. Most shockingly, Police personnel in the town did not stop the criminals who were assaulting the helpless youth. Instead, the Police started investigating whether the cow which was being skinned was killed by the youth or not so that a case of cow slaughter could be charged against them! Only a few months ago, Muhammad Akhlaq of Dadri village in UP was lynched by a mob incited by BJP leaders alleging that Akhlaq had stored cow meat in his house.
Now, a lower court has issued orders to file an FIR against the murdered Muhammad Akhlaq himself and his family members for alleged cow slaughter! Murder of 12 year old Inayatulla Khan in Jharkhand earlier this year was also in the name of protecting cows. Media pays attention only when such outrageous criminal acts occur. But in reality, Dalits and minorities find themselves regularly at the receiving end of innumerable acts of cruelty by cow protection criminals with political patronage. The perversity of Law enforcing agencies, legal system and rightwing criminal gangs collaborating to assault and intimidate poor people belonging to Dalit and minority communities in the name of cow protection is becoming a routine affair in several parts of India. Laws prohibiting cow and bullock slaughter provide legitimacy to such violent lunacy. These laws are loaded with majoritarian prejudices and hatred towards Dalits and minorities. The protests against the brutality in Una spilled over to the streets in such a fashion that on Independence Day the nation viewed a Dalit Pride March which garnered people from all over India.
A new response was in the making against dalit atrocities. Jignesh Mevani and others, who was at the centre of the mobilization put forward the demand for 5 acres of land and alternative employment and decided to stop disposing carcasses of dead cattle and manual scavenging. All democratic forces must condemn the hate crime reported from Una town, but we must also raise our voice for annulling the laws that implicitly justify such hate crimes.Last modified on Saturday, 27 August 2016 22:32