Dalits take to streets in Gujarat against ‘caste-based’ attack on NSUI leader | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Dalits take to streets in Gujarat against ‘caste-based’ attack on NSUI leader

Jun 13, 2024 09:37 AM IST

Sanjay Solanki was allegedly kidnapped and taken to a deserted farm in Gondal, where he was threatened in the presence of BJP lawmaker’s son

Hundreds of people, mostly Dalits, took to the streets in Gujarat’s Gondal, about 250 kilometers from Ahmedabad, against the alleged “caste-based” attack on a functionary of the Opposition Congress’s student wing National Students’ Union of India (NSUI).

People from around 200 villages participated in the protest. (HT PHOTO)
People from around 200 villages participated in the protest. (HT PHOTO)

Sanjay Solanki, the NSUI functionary, alleged he had been kidnapped and taken to a deserted farm in Gondal, where he was threatened with a firearm in the presence of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker Geetaba Jadeja’s son, Jyotiradityasinh, 25, who was were arrested on June 6

The First Information Report filed in the case quotes Solanki saying some of those at the farm forced him to remove his clothes while others recorded videos of the alleged assault. Jyotiradityasinh earlier had an altercation with Solanki on May 30 over the former’s reckless driving.

Yuva Bhim Sena Gujarat founder DD Solanki, who was among those who took to the streets, on Wednesday, said they organised a rally to send a message against an attempt by Jyotiradityasinh’s father Jayrajsinh Jadeja, and his men to silence Gondal’s people by muscle power. “We will not be intimidated. For the first time, the Jadeja family has faced such a public protest.”

The protesters demanded action against Sanjay Solanki’s attackers, a fast-track court for the speedy disposal of the case, and an end to lawlessness in Gondal.

Around 10,000 people from around 200 villages participated in the protest. In response, Jayrajsinh Jadeja’s supporters called for a bandh in Gondal, resulting in the closure of the local market for the day.

Jayrajsinh Jadeja maintained they had not given any bandh call but were thankful to the people who shut shops on their own. “The bandh was peaceful. I am thankful to all communities, including the Dalits, who have supported the bandh call, and their leaders did not join the rally...the people of Gondal will answer.”

He refused to comment on the allegations against his son. “Some of the people in the rally made some allegations, but I would not like to comment on such people, and there is a difference between them and me. I have full faith in the law, and that justice will be delivered.”

Jayrajsinh Jadeja, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2017 for the murder of a real estate agent in 2004 and is out on conditional bail, has dominated politics in Gondal since 1998. He was elected to the Gujarat assembly from Gondal thrice in 1998, 2002, and 2012 before losing in 2007. His wife, Geetaba Jadeja, won the assembly seat in 2017 and 2022.

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