Law and Order

With death of Dalit leader Bhanubhai Vankar; Gujarat up in protests

He was leading protests on the Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar highway

With death of Dalit leader Bhanubhai Vankar; Gujarat up in protests

With death of Dalit leader Bhanubhai Vankar, the political trio of Gujarat politics, namely, Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakore and Jignesh Mevani have upped the ante against the Gujarat government.

The angry crowds not only hooted away the BJP leaders from the visit to the family of the deceased, the other parts of the state also witnessed agitations and demonstrations.

Dalit leader and MLA Jignesh Mevani went as far as to claim that Gujarat does not belong to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s father.

He was leading protests on the Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar highway.

Patidar leader Hardik Patel and OBC leader and Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor visited the family of the deceased and demanded firm action and justice to the community.

Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly Paresh Dhanani also called on the family.

Vankar, who set himself on fire at the Patan district collectorate demanding physical possession of land allotted to a Dalit family on Thursday, succumbed to his burn injuries on Friday night at a private hospital in Ahmedabad.

The 60-yr-old Vankar had arrived at the Collector’s office along with the Dalit family of Hemaben and Ramabhai on Thursday where he drenched himself in kerosene and set himself on fire.

He sustained 96 per cent burns and was critical ever since he was hospitalised.

This led to a series of protests by Dalit activists across the state on Friday night and Saturday, including in Gandhinagar, Unjha, Chanasma and Patan in north Gujarat and Morbi in Saurashtra, with many resorting to blocking traffic and burning tyres.

Although the government claimed to have accepted the key demands of the family, the Dalits wanted a categorical assurance in writing.

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