Activists, writers, teachers and students hold protest rally in Hyderabad against the communal killing at Dadri and the casteist violence in Faridabad that claimed the lives of two children
By Team FI
A press release issued by a collective of activists, writers, and individuals detailed their protest on Thursday, in Tank Bund, Hyderabad, in front of the Ambedkar statue. The protest was, the release stated, against “growing spate of atrocities on Dalits and Muslims.”
Given below is the full text of the release:
A group of activists, students and teachers came together today at 6 pm in front of Ambedkar Statue in Tank Bund, Hyderabad to protest the growing spate of atrocities on dalits and muslims. Linking this casteist and communal violence, the protesters held signs such as “Dalit Lives Matter”, “Muslim lives matter” “Stop killing people in the name of cows” and “Annihilate caste! End the murders of dalit children”.
Writers Joopaka Subadra and Professor Sujatha Surepally spoke of the inhumane treatment of dalits and muslims in the name of beef protection, while activist Krupakar Madiga condemned the casteist murder of entire families including children, such as the recent attack on a Dalit family where the whole family was burnt alive and two children died due to their burns in Ballabhgar-Faridabad.
This comes after a history of violence against the community, with another earlier attack in June by the Jats to assert their caste power after the election of a Dalit sarpanch in the area. The Ror community had also attacked Dalits in the area as a mob in April 2013 after an intercaste marriage between a Ror woman and a Dalit man; and 15 Dalit houses were burnt in Mirchpur village in 2011 by Jats.
These attacks are not unrelated to the mounting communal violence in Atali in the same area, where a Muslim man grazing his cattle was attacked with axes, and the entire Muslim community was attacked over the establishment of a mosque on Waqf land. In all these incidents the police and administration explicitly sided with the dominant caste Hindu majority community. This incident comes on the heels of incident in Dankaur where the police themselves stripped and sexually assaulted a family that was protesting police inaction on the issue of the theft of their belongings.
The police have then filed cases of obscenity on the family themselves!
These charges against Sunil Gautam and his family must be IMMEDIATELY WITHDRAWN! The BJP and right wing forces are building up their base on the caste and communal pride of dominant caste Hindu communities. Despite their attempts to appropriate Babasaheb Ambedkar their position on basic issues of political representation and even nutrition of the Dalit community is very clear and similar to their position on Muslim minorities.
The incident of murder of a Muslim man Mohd. Aqlakh who was suspected to be storing beef in his fridge in Dadri by a mob whipped up by the local BJP MLA Somnath Som (who himself ran a beef export company); the severe beating by Bajrang Dal activists of Ibrahim Padubidri who was a cattle trader in Karkala, Udipi; and the mob thrashing until death of a cattle trader in Himachal Pradesh; the murder of Zahid Ahmed in Jammu following rumours of cow slaughter when his cows died of food poisoning – these are all direct attacks on the main source of affordable protein for Dalits, Muslims and working class masses of the country. This chain of attacks must be protested by all those who fight the trend of majoritarian tyranny and who stand for secularism.