Approximately 25,000 members of Dalit Community rallied in Gujarat in protest at attacks on their members on Sunday.
The anger rose when four young men of the community were stripped and beaten in public as they took a dead cow for skinning earlier this month. Protesters pledged to boycott their traditional task of disposing of dead animals and manual cleaning of sewers.
The killing of a cow is banned in Gujarat, although villagers claimed that the animal that sparked the attack on the youth had died of natural cause and was not killed by young men.
“Neither the BJP nor Congress will come to our help, only our united strength will help us fight the age-old oppression,” said Jignesh Mevani, organizer of Sunday’s protest.
“Dalit youths who have been protesting against the Una atrocity have been arrested under false charges. We demand dropping of those charges or else protesters in more numbers would hit the streets in Ahmedabad,” warned Dalit activist Jignesh Mewani.