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Gujarat

The Cow Protector’s Justice

A brutal public beating of Dalits by gau rakshaks in Una sets off protests across Gujarat—the BJP feels the heat

The Cow Protector’s Justice

A video grab of the beating up of four Dalit youths in Una town
The Cow Protector’s Justice
outlookindia.com
2016-07-22T22:43:36+05:30

In The Cow’s Name

  • Widespread protests across Gujarat after four Dalit youths who were skinning a dead cow were abd­ucted and beaten up. Brought to the Una town market, they were tied to an SUV and beaten with sticks by some men believed to be cow prot­ection vigilantes.
  • As all this happened, crowds watched, and the policemen at Una police station did nothing to stop the assault. After widespread protests in Gujarat and national-level Dalit leaders taking up the issue, some suspects have been arrested and four cops have been suspended.
  • Dalits have refused to take cattle carcasses. In some places, they have dumped carcasses at government offices as a mark of protest.
  • The protests have come as another challenge to chief minister Anandiben Patel, who recently has had to deal with the Patel reservation stir, followed by a similar show of strength by a united OBC front.

***

Always weighed down by the mountain-sized leg­acy of her predecessor, chief minister Anandiben Patel is lurching from one political crisis to another. And the assembly elections are just over a year away. The dust is yet to settle on the Patidar reservation stir of 2015, which eroded the BJP’s hold, built over a dozen years of Narendra Modi’s chief ministership, and the government finds itself faced with an unprecedented Dalit protest that not only threatens to further weaken support for the BJP in the state but could also affect its election prospects in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.

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