Wardha Gandhi Ashram offers Una victims 25-year stay, land

Ahmedabad, Aug 11 (IANS) Mahatma Gandhi’s Sevagram Ashram at Wardha has offered the Dalit victims of Una to shift to its premises in Maharashtra after they expressed fear for their lives at their native village Mota Samadhiyala.

Wardha Ashram President Jaywant Mathkar made the offer when a delegation of the Gandhians visited the victims at their native village in Una taluka in Saurashtra region of Gujarat, a delegation spokesman said on Thursday.

The family members of the four Dalit youth, who were flogged in broad daylight by cow vigilantes in Una town in July 11, are said to have told the delegation that they were afraid that they might become “victims of accidents” and get killed.

Mathkar assured the families that they would not only be provided various facilities free of cost for the next 25 years, but also each family would be given two acres of land and a cow and all facilities for education of their children at the ashram.

The Sarva Seva Sangh of the Akhil Bharatiya Sarvodaya Mandal and the Gujarat Lok Samiti jointly announced a donation of Rs 50,000 to the victims.

Besides the Wardha Gandhi Ashram, the Sarvodaya Sangh and the Gujarat Lok Samiti, the delegation also included representatives of the Mumbai Sarvodaya Mandal and the Sadbhavana Seva Sangh.

A large number of Gandhians also held a day-long fast at the Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad as a penance for the atrocities committed on the Dalits in Gujarat as well as in different parts of the country by the so-called upper caste people.

The Gandhians also demanded that the land collected during the ‘Bhoodan’ movement by Acharya Vinoba Bhave and still in the possession of the state governments, should be allocated to the Dalits.

In Gujarat alone, they said, about 53,000 acres of land had still remained un-allocated which should be given to the Dalit families.

Meanwhile, the Gujarat CID Crime Police have arrested one more person allegedly involved in the Una incident, taking the total number of those arrested in the case to 34. The police said some more arrests were likely in this case.



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