At least 10 people were injured and vehicles were torched when a mob attacked a group of Dalits returning from Una in Gir-Somnath district on Monday after attending a flag hoisting ceremony to mark the end their 10-day Azadi Kooch (freedom march).
The incident reportedly occurred on the Una-Bhavnahar highway near Sametar village. It is the same village from where 13 of 36 accused have been arrested for flogging a Dalit family at Mota Samadhiyala village when they were skinning a dead cow on July 11.
Pradeepsinh Jadeja, minister of state for home, however, denied reports of any violence but confirmed that the road leading to Sametar village has been blocked by locals. “Senior police officers are on the spot and are trying to convince people who have blocked the road to go back. There has been no report of violence so far.”
“They (attackers) greeted us with Jai Bhim slogan. When we responded with the same, we were attacked. I had a narrow escape but my cousin Ashok was badly injured,” said Mavji Sarviya, who had come to participate in the culmination rally. The march had started from Ahmedabad on August 5.
“My two-wheeler was torched. One Qualis car was also attacked and damaged. Police brought us back to Una but they did not file FIR. They have accepted a complaint,” added Sarviya.