Jignesh Mevani seeks protection for 116 Dalit farmers in Kutch facing 'death threats' over land ownership issues

Days after the alleged murder of a Dalit deputy Sarpanch in Botad district of Gujarat, MLA Jignesh Mevani appealed to the state government to provide security to 116 Dalit farmers in Kutch district

Press Trust of India June 24, 2019 21:32:07 IST
Jignesh Mevani seeks protection for 116 Dalit farmers in Kutch facing 'death threats' over land ownership issues
  • MLA Jignesh Mevani claimed 116 dalit farmers in Kutch district are living under the 'death threat', and appealed to the state government to provide them security

  • Mevani's demand comes days after the alleged murder of a Dalit deputy Sarpanch in Botad district of Gujarat

  • He also alleged that some men from upper caste communities are preventing these Dalit farmers from taking possession of the land allotted to them

Ahmedabad: Days after the alleged murder of a Dalit deputy Sarpanch in Botad district of Gujarat, MLA Jignesh Mevani on Monday claimed as many as 116 Dalit farmers in Kutch district are living under the "death threat", and appealed to the state government to provide them security.

Jignesh Mevani seeks protection for 116 Dalit farmers in Kutch facing death threats over land ownership issues

File image of Gujarat Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani. News18

He also alleged that some men from upper caste communities are preventing these Dalit farmers from taking possession of the land allotted to them for farming by the state government 35 years ago.

He demanded security from the government for these farmers who are residents of Rapar and Bhachau talukas of Kutch.

Referring to the alleged murder of Manjibhai Solanki recently, Mevani said that dalits from Kutch district may get killed if they try to take possession of their own land.

Solanki, 51, was allegedly beaten to death by nine persons near his village on June 19.

"Though Solanki had sought police protection fearing that he would get killed, no action was taken. Now, I have learned that 116 dalit farmers of Kutch are facing death threats. I demand adequate police protection for them. We will see whether the state government wants to protect them or let them die," Mevani said while addressing a press conference in Gandhinagar.

The Independent MLA said he had apprised state governor OP Kohli about the issue through a letter.

"Though these farmers are the owners of the land as per revenue records, they could not take possession or start cultivation because some upper caste goons have captured the land. Dalits fear that they may get killed if they step on that land," said Mevani, who represents Vadgam seat in Banaskantha district in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly.

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