Ahmedabad: Cases registering atrocities committed against dalits have seen a steep rise in the state since 2016. The number of FIRs registered under the Atrocity Act has jumped from 1,046 in 2015 to 1,355 in 2016 with a rise of 309 cases, and it has already touched 1,085 by August 2017 with four months to go before the year ends.
While dalit leaders attribute the rise in figures to rising awareness among dalits, especially in wake of the July 2016 Una flogging, cops say they don’t take any chances and lodge FIRs immediately in response to complaints of atrocity against dalits.
Four dalits were thrashed in full public view by so called gau rakshaks in Mota Samadhiyala village of Una district in July 2016 for skinning dead cows. Over 20 accused, including policemen and gau rakshaks were arrested in the case by Gujarat CID crime. “The policemen were arrested for trying to cover up the incident,” said a senior police official.
The figures indicate that while 17 dalits were murdered in 2015, the figure rose to 32 in 2016 and now stands at 47 till August 2017. “Incidents of grievous injuries are also on the rise. As compared to 64 such offences registered across the state in 2015, the figure shot up to 99 in 2016 and till August 2017 it stands at 47 with still four months to go for the year end.
Atrocity against dalit women also show an upward rise with 83 rape cases registered in 2017 as compared to 73 in 2015. More worrying is the fact that the figure has already gone up to 73 till August 2017.
Incidents of arson- which were only 8 in 2015 rose to 12 in 2016 and till August 2017 six cases have already been registered by the police in police stations across the state.
Senior police officials said the SC/ST cell headed by an officer of the rank of Additional DGP is keeping a hawk’s eye on atrocity cases in the state.