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Dalit men thrashed and killed in Gujarat, raises question on laws against lynching

By Shreya
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    Just when attacks on Dalits and acts of violence on journalists, and the subsequent protests against such acts made headlines, news of Dalits being thrashed in Gujarat made it to the forefront.

    Dalit men thrashed and killed in Gujarat, raises question on laws against lynching

    Two dalit men were allegedly thrashed by men belonging to the Rajput community in Gujarat in two different incidents for sporting a moustache and in another a dalit man was lynched for attending Garba.

    According to reports the incidents took place Limbodara village in Kalol taluka of Gandhinagar district on September 25 and 29.

    Krunal Maheria (30), a law student was allegedly roughed up by Bharatsinh Vaghela. In his complaint to police, Maheria said that he was assaulted for sporting a moustache.

    Based on Maheria's complaint, an FIR has been lodged against Vaghela, under the IPC section 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) of the IPC and under the Prevention of Atrocities , who was arrested on Sunday.

    A similar incident took place on September 25, where some members of the Rajput community allegedly assaulted a 24-year-old Piyush Parmar for keeping a moustache.

    On October 1st, a 21-year-old dalit youth was lynched by upper caste Patel community for attending a garba event in Gujarat. According to police all accused have been arrested. According to reports, the victim was thrashed and his head was banged against the wall. He was declared death at the hospital.

    If one keeps a track of number and frequency of such acts, one will notice the increasing frequency. Not only people belonging to the lower case, but journalists or rationalists who refuse to toe the line of a certain ideology are falling victims to such terror, mostly.

    Recently the nation was shook by the cold-blooded murder of noted journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot to dead in front of her residence in Bangalore. After Lankesh, a journalist from Tripura, Shantanu Bhowmik was stabbed to death while covering a conflict. Several journalists in the national capital have received threats on WhatsApp messenger, warning them of same fate of Gauri Lankesh.

    The repeated incidents of attacks and acts of lynching have become very common, and numerous protests have failed to ensure action against the perpetrators.

    Speaking to Oneindia, Activist Tehseen Poonawalla said, "A similar incident took place on in Gujarat's Una and the PM came out and said don't shoot them, shoot me, the point I am trying to make is that instead of throwing pople who break the law in jail the PM is encouraging people to break another law. This is how people have now got the encouragement to attack Dalits because they belief no action will be taken against them and if things go out of control they will be proptected with stuff 'like attack me don't attack them'.

    To fight with the growing terror of lynching, a law called Masuka has been drafted, which if passed will be India's first law dealing specifically on lynching. Masuka not only ensures speedy justice, but also state protection to the victim, witnesses and only provide for compensation to the ones assaulted and the kins of victims.

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