Gandhinagar, March 20 (IANS) The Gujarat government on Tuesday denied then Chief Minister Anandiben Patel had promised to give a government job or piece of land to Dalit victims who were thrashed in Una two years back.
In response to Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani’s question if Patel had promised to giving either five acres of land or government jobs to the Dalits in Samadhiyala village who were flogged and paraded naked on July 2016 for allegedly cow slaughte, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Ishwarbhai Parmar said that no such matter is found on government record.
The treatment of Vashram, Ramesh, Ashok and Bechar Sarvaiya had been captured on camera and which went viral on social media, shaking the nation and the world and forced the state government into action.
Anandiben Patel had rushed of to the victims and assured them of prompt action against the perpetrators. At the time, she had also promised land or jobs to the victims.
Nearly two years since the incident, not seeing any implementation of this assurance, Mevani had questioned the government.
These four victims and their families have also decided to renounce Hinduism and embrace Buddhism in a mass conversion programme to be held on Buddh Purnima on May 29. They have also said that they will reach out to other atrocity victims and get them to convert.
In a reply to another question, the Social Justice and Empowerment Department admitted that the Vigilance and Monitoring Committee, headed by the department’s Principal Secretary, set up to look into the atrocities against the Scheduled Castes and Tribes had met only twice during the last two years.
The committee is supposed to meet after every three months and in its reply, the government has assured that from now on it will be ensured that committee meets regularly.