Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani orders probe into Dalit activist's self-immolation bid

  Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani today ordered an inquiry into an attempt of self-immolation by Dalit activist Bhanu Vankar over alleged delay in allotment of land to a Dalit family.

Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani orders probe into Dalit activist's self-immolation bid
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AHMEDABAD:  Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani today ordered an inquiry into an attempt of self-immolation by Dalit activist Bhanu Vankar over alleged delay in allotment of land to a Dalit family.

Expressing grief over the incident, Rupani said the government would bear the expenses of Vankar's treatment.

Sixty-year-old Vankar, who suffered severe burns after he set himself on fire outside Patan district Collector's office yesterday, has been admitted to a private hospital here.

In a statement, Rupani said chief secretary J N Singh would conduct an inquiry into the incident.

"The government will bear all medical expenses of the Dalit man who tried to immolate himself outside Patan Collector's office. The state government will also ensure that he gets the best treatment," Rupani said.

"The government will take appropriate action after getting all the details," he added.

Protesting against `delay' in allotment of land to a Dalit family under a government scheme, Vankar, associated with MLA and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani's Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch, set himself on fire yesterday.

The land in question is in Dudkha village of Sami tehsil of Patan district.

Village resident Hemaben Vankar, a landless Dalit farm labourer, had alleged that the authorities were not allotting a piece of land to her family despite collecting Rs 22,236 in 2013 for the transfer.

In a memorandum submitted to the Collector a week ago, Hemaben, along with Bhanu Vankar who took up her cause as an activist, had threatened self-immolation.

Though police were deployed outside the Patan Collector's office and several Dalit activists were detained, Bhanu Vankar, a resident of Unjha town of Mehsana district, somehow managed to set himself on fire.

Mevani has demanded suspension of the collector and superintendent of police over the incident.

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