Una (Gujarat): Thousands of Dalits on Monday vowed never to remove the dead cows again as they gathered in the town of Una in Gujarat to express their solidarity with the five victims who were recently targeted by alleged “Gau Rakshaks” in suspicion of their involvement in the illegal cattle trade.
To express their solidarity, student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and Radhika Vemula, mother of late Rohith, also joined them at a state-run school ground where she unfurled the national flag on the occasion of Independence Day.
Radhika's son Rohith had committed suicide in January in Hyderabad university after alleging caste harassment.
This small town in Gujarat had hit the headlines after four Dalit youths were tied to a car, stripped and flogged after being wrongly accused of killing a cow.
The Dalits in Una on Monday vowed to give up their occupation of removing dead carcases of animals which is “a poorly-paid task and “forced” upon them, the NDTV reported.
Addressing the gathering, Kanhaiya Kumar said, "You have exposed the Gujarat model of development".
Some of those who attended the event had reportedly marched some 400 kilometres to Una from Ahmedabad.
Muslims had also attended the event to express their solidarity with Dalits, the NDTV report said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has strongly criticised the so called “cow vigilantes” or "gau rakshaks" saying most use religion as a cover for crimes that have nothing to do with protecting the cow.