Prominent Dalit writer Amrutlal Makwana has decided to return the Dasi Jivan Best Dalit Literary Work award conferred on him by the Gujarat government in 2014, reported The Hindu. The writer made the decision as a sign of protest against the recent assault of Dalit men for skinning a dead cow near Una town.

Makwana said he will hand over the award, a citation, a shawl and Rs 25,000 in cash to the Ahmedabad collector on Wednesday. “I am anguished and pained by the incident of Dalits being flogged mercilessly. It only shows that Dalits continue to be at the receiving end in the society,” he said, adding that the atrocities against members of the community is on the rise in India.

"A few years back, three Dalit youths were killed in police firing in Thangadh town of our district [Surendranagar]. Their families are still struggling to get justice, which makes me feel that there is no guarantee that justice will be done to the victims of the Una incident,” said the author of three books — a short story collection, an anthology of Dalit folk songs and one on the struggle of the Dalit community in the State. Makwana said he cannot keep the award given by a government that fails to protect Dalits and other marginalised sections of society.