Arson marks bandh in Gujarat

Arson marks bandh in Gujarat

AHMEDABAD (DHNS): The Gujarat bandh called by several Dalit organisations on Wednesday witnessed incidents of arson, vandalism and stone-pelting. The bandh was called to protest the atrocities committed against a group of Dalits who were beaten in Una on July 11 for skinning a dead cow.

Reports of sporadic instances of violence came in throughout the day, while five more persons tried to commit suicide in protest. Hirabhai Solanki, Vinod Nanji Solanki and Hitu Natubhai Chauhan tried to consume poison and immolate themselves in Dhoraji town.

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All three were rushed to Dhoraji civil hospital. Two more persons, one from Botad and another from Gondal, also tried to kill themselves by consuming poison. A total of 18 people have tried to commit suicide on the issue in the state during the last 72 hours, with one constable succumbing to his injuries on Tuesday.

The bandh was nearly complete in Saurashtra region, but evoked mixed response in other parts of the state. Over 200 people were arrested during the day for indulging in arson and violence. However, there was no reports of injury.

There were reports of road blockades at several places from Junagadh, Surendranagar, Rajkot, Morbi, Mahuva and Bhavnagar in Saurashtra and Kheda, Mehsana, Palanpur, Patan and Chota Udepur in Central and North Gujarat. Thousands of Dalits held protest rallies and forced shops and commercial establishments to down shutters in these towns.

Over a dozen state transport and private buses were torched or damaged in the Saurashtra region. In another incident, over 12 members of the Dalit community were detained in Mochi Nagar area of Rajkot.

The police also detained over 70 protesters in Kosamba town under Mangrol taluk of Surat district. Meanwhile, the city of Ahmedabad too saw scattered reports of crowds gathering to take out procession.RS to discuss attacks today the Rajya Sabha will discuss the attacks on Dalits in various parts of the country on Thursday.

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