Dalits protest in Gujarat against alleged caste-based attack on NSUI leader

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An incident involving Sanjay Solanki, a Dalit leader of the NSUI, culminated in a protest held recently. This protest was also a means to hold Jyotiradityasinh Jadeja accountable for his involvement, who comes from the politically influential Jadeja family in Gondal.

Story: Madhvi

Edit: Nitya Kaimal

Hundreds of Dalits marched through the streets of Gondal, Gujarat, protesting the alleged caste-based attack on Sanjay Solanki, a leader of the Congress’s National Students’ Union of India (NSUI). The demonstration held, 250 kilometres from Ahmedabad, highlighted deep-rooted tensions and called for justice and lawfulness in the region.

Sanjay Solanki reported that he was kidnapped, taken to a deserted farm, and threatened with a firearm. Among those present during the assault was Jyotiradityasinh Jadeja, son of BJP lawmaker Geetaba Jadeja. Solanki’s ordeal allegedly began with an altercation on May 30 with JyotiradityaSinh over reckless driving. The First Information Report states that Solanki was forced to remove his clothes while others filmed the assault.

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DD Solanki, the founder of Yuva Bhim Sena Gujarat, led the protest, emphasising their resistance to intimidation by Jyotiradityasinh’s father, Jayrajsinh Jadeja, and his associates. “We will not be intimidated. For the first time, the Jadeja family has faced such a public protest,” he asserted. The demonstrators demanded immediate action against Solanki’s attackers, a fast-track court for the case, and an end to the prevailing lawlessness in Gondal. The rally saw participation from approximately 10,000 people representing around 200 villages.

Image Credit : Sandesh (Gujarati Media)

In a counter-move, supporters of Jayrajsinh Jadeja called for a bandh, leading to a shutdown of the local market. Jayrajsinh Jadeja, who has a chequered past, including a life imprisonment sentence in 2017 for a 2004 murder, denied instigating the bandh but expressed gratitude for the voluntary support. “The bandh was peaceful. I am thankful to all communities, including the Dalits, who have supported the bandh call,” he stated, refraining from commenting on the accusations against his son.

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Despite his controversial past, Jayrajsinh Jadeja has been a significant political force in Gondal since 1998, with his wife Geetaba Jadeja currently holding the assembly seat. The incident has ignited significant public outcry, spotlighting the ongoing issues of caste-based violence and political dominance in the region.

*दलित टाइम्स उन करोड़ो लोगो की आवाज़ है जिन्हें हाशिए पर रखा गया है। *

महिला, दलित और आदिवासियों के मुद्दों पर केंद्रित पत्रकारिता करने और मुख्यधारा की मीडिया में इनका प्रतिनिधित्व करने के लिए हमें आर्थिक सहयोग करें।


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