Rajkot, Jul 27: The four Dalit youths, who were brutally thrashed by cow vigilantes at Una in Gir Somnath district over two weeks ago that led to large-scale protests, were today discharged from the civil hospital here with improvement in their health condition, a senior official said.
The four victims-- Ashok Sarvaiya, Vashram Sarvaiya, Bechar Sarvaiya and Ramesh Sarvaiya-- all residents of Mota Samadhiyala village of Una taluka of Gir-Somnath district were discharged from the hospital. [Una Dalits backlash politicised?: Victim re-admitted to hospital!]
"They have been discharged as their condition has improved," the civil hospital superintendent D Vatsraj said. While leaving the hospital, Vashram told reporters that he and other victims should be given a government job or land for agriculture.
"We want that government should either provide us a government job or give us land, so that we can earn our livelihood through farming. We do not wish to continue this profession of skinning dead animals," he said.
The Sarvaiyas were referred to Rajkot from Una civil hospital on July 14, Vatsraj said. On July 11, seven Dalit youths, including the four, were beaten up in their the village when the cow vigilantes found them skinning a dead cow.
The attackers alleged that the Dalits were also responsible for the cow slaughter. Although the victims told them that they had only skinned a dead cow for leather and had not slaughtered it, the accused took four of them to nearby Una town and once again thrashed them with sticks and iron rods after tying them with a vehicle.
They were also paraded half-naked on the road in full public view. After a video of the incident went viral, it sparked off violent protests across Gujarat. Many political leaders, including Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, paid visit to the village.
Police have so far arrested 16 people in this connection and the state government handed over the investigation to CID and notified creation of a designated court to carry out the case. Chief Minister Anandiben Patel has also announced compensation to the victims.