The fact that it comes from the land of Gandhi is a shame. Making matters worse is the fact that it comes from the core of BJP bastion, Gujarat, which has time and again underscored its commitment towards sabka saath sabka vikaas.
In response to an RTI query by Mehsana-based activist Kaushik Parmar, deputy SP and public information officer D.P. Chudasama reported 189 cases of atrocities on Dalits in Ahmedabad for the year 2022. The report was made available on April 17. In total, Gujarat recorded 1,425 such cases, while Ahmedabad stands highest among Indian cities to have reported the same in the concurring period.
If one does the math based on numbers shared, four cases of atrocities against Dalits and Scheduled Castes were carried out on a daily basis in 2022.
Of the 189 cases reported in Ahmedabad, six involved murder, 10 relate to grievous hurt, 28 to rape and 145 to “other offences.” Notably, Ahmedabad also stands on the top rungs where it comes to cases of murder and rape.
In Ahmedabad district, of the 70 cases of offences against SCs, two were of and seven cases each of grievous hurt and rape. Kutch followed Ahmedabad city with 78 cases reported by Kutch-Gandhidham SP office and 69 by the Kutch-Bhuj division.
In North Gujarat, Banaskantha reported 70 cases of Dalit atrocity in 2022, the highest in the region. According to Parmar, known to be a close aide of Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani: “The reason behind cities reporting high number of cases is that people are aware of their legal rights and so they seek redressal. In villages and hinterlands, the poor are not even aware or educated. They do not know their rights. They do not even get help from the police and therefore the registered complaints are few.”
Additionally, conviction in the cases of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act is low in Gujarat because of the government’s lacklustre approach. There are also instances of past judgments where courts have ordered for compensation to be returned. “This has also been challenged in the Gujarat high court,” Parmar added.
In January, Vibes Of India, reported that atrocities on Dalits continue in Gujarat and what’s worse, despite the Prevention of Atrocities On Dalits Act, the conviction rate in cases registered between 2018-2021 stands at a dismal 3.5%.
The Dalit Atrocities Act, which is rooted in Articles 15 and 17 of the Indian Constitution states: “Untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden.”
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