A member of the Dalit community flogged by upper-caste men in Gujarat’s Una city in 2016 on Tuesday wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind, seeking permission for mercy killing. Vashram Sarvaiya, writing on behalf of his family, said former Chief Minister Anandiben Patel had failed to keep the promises she made to them in 2016 following the incident, The Indian Express reported.
On July 11, 2016, more than 40 men from the upper caste Darbar community had assaulted seven members of the Sarvaiya family for skinning a dead cow in Gir Somnath district’s Una town. The Sarvaiyas were leather tanners and skinning dead cattle was part of their traditional occupation. But the assailants accused them of cow slaughter. During the attack, four of the Sarvaiya brothers were stripped, tied to the back of a car and beaten with sticks and iron rods, while some of the attackers filmed the assault.
“She [Patel] had assured us that the state government will allot five acres of land to each of victims, that the victims will be given government jobs as per their qualifications, and Mota Samadhiyala will be transformed into a developed village,” Vashram Sarvaiya wrote to Kovind on Tuesday. “Two years and four months have passed since the incident and the government has fulfilled none of its promises nor has it made any attempt to fulfill them.”
Sarvaiya said the family has quit the leather tanning occupation following the attack, and now lacks a means of livelihood. “We have represented our case repeatedly in writing and orally, but the Gujarat government has not paid any attention to any of our problems,” he added.
He alleged that the state has not even provided the family or witnesses adequate security while the flogging case is being heard in court. Sarvaiya claimed that the accused, on the other hand, are out on bail, and are “violating their bail conditions” while the government does nothing.
“As the Gujarat government has not fulfilled any of our demands so far, I do not want to live this life and I am therefore pressing this plea seeking permission to kill myself by sitting on an indefinite fast near Bharatiya Janata Party MP Kirit Solanki’s house in Ahmedabad,” Sarvaiya wrote.