Gujarat Dalits led by Mevani continue protest to demand land for all
The protesters are demanding that the government should start a scheme for allotting land to every Dalit family in the state.Updated: Feb 18, 2018 23:33 IST
Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
Continuing their protest for the second day, Dalits refused to claim the body of community activist Bhanubhai Vankar who succumbed on Friday night to the injuries suffered in an immolation bid to protest denial of land to a Dalit woman.
The protesters are demanding that the government should start a scheme for allotting land to every Dalit family in the state.
While the state government had announced to allot land to Hemaben Vankar from Patan, for whose case Bhanubhai sacrificed his life, and also in similar cases where Dalit families have been cultivating for years on encroached land, Dalits led by independent MLA from Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani continued their protest by blocking highways.
Mevani was detained on Sunday morning even as Bhanubhai’s body remained at the Gandhinagar Civil Hospital.
“We demand that a land allotment scheme be started immediately in the name of Bhanubhai. It should cover all Dalit families,” said Subodh Parmar of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch.
Bhanubhai (61), a retired revenue department officer, set himself on fire on February 15 at the district collector’s office, protesting the delay in transfer of land rights to Hemaben’s family in Dhudhana village in Patan. Her file was moving from pillar to post since 2013 and the family had also paid the required fee for the same.
On Saturday, deputy chief minister Nitin Patel had announced that all cases similar to Hemaben’s will be addressed soon. Dalits have been demanding five acres of land for every family as their constitutional right.
First Published: Feb 18, 2018 23:33 IST