Dalit activist from Gujarat Jignesh Mevani today said he would launch a campaign to mobilise public opinion on atrocities against Dalits in the country. Mevani, who was in the city to protest against the killing of Pehlu Khan over allegations of cow smuggling in Alwar, said that a march from Alwar to Ahmedabad should be undertaken by activists and family members of the victim to “open the eyes of the government”. “The incident that happened in Alwar was very unfortunate and the apathy of the government towards the entire issue is further disappointing,” Mevani said here.
Khan was attacked when he along with others were allegedly transporting cows illegally near Behror in Alwar earlier this month. He later died in hospital. Mevani and other activists including People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) General Secretary Kavita Srivastava held a dharna and public meeting on the issue and demanded the government arrest all accused in the case. He said atrocities against Dalits have increased but neither the governments in Rajasthan and Gujarat nor at the Centre are bothered.
Mevani said the BJP had promised jobs to youth and housing to needy people but it has failed to keep its promises and therefore, he alleged, the issue of cow protection is highlighted to divert attention. He said he will launch a campaign in Gujarat soon under which activities like wall paintings and others will be held to highlight the issues of Dalits. “A public opinion on Dalit issues will be formed through the campaign,” he said.