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Dalit right groups to hold mass gathering in Ahmedabad; Rohith Vemula's family may attend

Ahmedabad: Dalit rights groups will hold a mass gathering in the Sabarmati area of Ahmedabad on Sunday to register their protest over the brutal thrashing of community members in Una on 11 July, after organisers agreed to hold the event at a changed venue for which police gave their nod.

Earlier, the organisers had decided to hold the event outside the collector's office, to which the police had denied permission saying it might lead to major traffic snarls. The gathering will now be held at a ground near Acher depot in Sabarmati.

Courtesy: Twitter/@akslal

Courtesy: Twitter/@akslal

Among the special invitees are family members of Rohith Vemula, a Dalit research scholar from Hyderabad Central University who had committed suicide early this year. Family members of victims from Thangadh in Surendranagar district who were killed in police firing during a protest gathering in 2012 have also been invited, the organisers said, adding leaders from both BJP and Congress have been asked to stay away from the event.

"The state government and police have been trying to prevent Dalits from uniting and coming under one banner, but considering the anger and mood of Dalits, police had to surrender and allow us to hold the event," a Dalit leader and convener of the event, Jignesh Mevani said.

He said the response from community members from across the state has been immense. "Family members of Rohith Vemula and Thangadh victims have been contacted to participate in the Sunday gathering. Rohith's mother is not well, but his elder brother will participate. They will expose BJP's role in Rohith's suicide. Valjibhai Rathod, a member of the family of Thangadh police firing victims has also been requested to come," Mevani said.

The event is being organised under the banner of 'Una Dalit Atyachar Ladat Samiti' to protest the recent incident where Dalit youth in Una taluka of Gir Somnath district were thrashed and to highlight cases of atrocities against
community members in the state, organisers said.

Govind Parmar, another member of the organising committee, urged that those participating in the gathering should see that the event passes off in a peaceful manner.

Updated Date: Jul 30, 2016 20:41 PM

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