Jaysukh Madhad, a Dalit youth from Gujarat’s Amreli district, was warned against contesting sarpanch elections, which concluded in December last year. Still, the 25-year-old Madhad contested and went on to win the polls, defeating the panel of those who had threatened him and becoming the sarpanch of Varasda village.
Three months later, on March 1, Madhad was stabbed to death. “Madhad was killed by the three men who had warned him against contesting the election of Sarpanch held last year,“ said Amreli Superintendent of Police, Jagdish Patel. The accused managed to flee from the spot after killing Madhad.
Over 200 Dalits, along with Madhad’s family, gathered outside Amreli Civil Hospital for his post-mortem and refused to claim the body until the accused were arrested. The Police managed to nab o ne of the accused in the case. “We have arrested the main accused, Deep Dhadhal, while the two others, his brother Yuvi Dhadhal, and one Madhu Vala are on the run,” said Patel.
Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani has pointed out that another Dalit youth, Girish Jadav, had been found dead, also under mysterious circumstances, on Tuesday. Jadav was a resident of Palitana in
Bhavnagar district, which is close to Amreli. Reportedly, 27-year-old Jadav had been first assaulted with a sharp-edged weapon and later strangled to death. He had been missing since February 25, 2017.
The Saurashtra region of Gujarat has a history of atrocities and discrimination against Dalits, as well as a track record for mismanagement. Gujarat in its submission to National Commission for Scheduled Caste had recorded 6,655 cases in 2015, compared to 1130 cases in 2014. However, this astonishingly-large figure was questioned by the NCSC. The statistics were immediately revised by the state. Ultimately, according to statistics, in 2015, Gujarat recorded 1,046 cases of atrocities against Dalits. That amounts to 2.3 per cent of such crimes committed in India.