As the country witnesses widespread protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the victims of the Una flogging incident have written to President Ram Nath Kovind asking to be deported to a country "where they wouldn't face discrimination", according to several media reports.
Vasram Sarvaiya, who authored the letter on behalf of his brother, told The Quint, “We oppose the CAA but if they want to implement the Act, they should also deport us to a country where Dalits would be considered equal citizens.”
“We are not considered citizens in India. Dalits are discriminated against in the Hindu community. So we request President Ram Nath Kovind to send us to a different country where we won’t face discrimination,” he said, according to the report.
He adding that the family had been promised land for agriculture and houses, and employment opportunities but the government had not followed through.
"The Una flogging incident deprived us of our fundamental rights and employment. Now, the officials of the government have been acting as if we don't belong to this country. If we cannot be considered citizens, then our citizenship should be cancelled and we should be deported to a country where we will not face discrimination," Sarvaiya said in his letter, as per The Times of India.
"Anandiben Patel, who was the then chief minister of Gujarat and is now the Uttar Pradesh governor had visited us in 2016 and had promised jobs. She had said she will visit us again in a month. But neither did she come nor did she give us any jobs," he added, as per the report.
Vasram and his three brothers were thrashed and paraded by 'cow vigilantes' in the Una town of Gujarat's Gir-Somnath district in July 2016. The brothers, belonging to the Dalit community, were beaten for skinning a dead cow. The investigation by the Gujarat Police later revealed that the cow had been killed by a lion.
According to a Firstpost report, the Sarvaiya family was forced to go to other places to seek employment. Ramesh, Vasram's younger brother, who was also a victim in the incident, was sent to Ahmedabad to learn sewing. "We sent him to the city because he could not find any work in the village, Vasram was quoted by the report as saying in November 2017.
Vasram's other two brothers, Ashok and Bechar, also had to work with their father in the field to earn their livelihood. Their father, Balu Sarvaiya had said, "Even Rahul Gandhi came here and vowed to bring us justice. However, nothing of the sort has happened yet." Govind Sarvaiya, who lived in the same village, was quoted as saying, "The Dalits of Una have stood with the BJP for last 15 years but we feel injustice has been done to us."
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Updated Date: Jan 14, 2020 08:03:36 IST