Caste Neutral PM and his Gujrat, Dalit Sarpanch killed in day light : Castevirus 002G2019


Manji Solanki, a 55-year-old deputy sarpanch of Jalila village, Ranpur taluka, Botad district about 150 kilometres from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, was riding his motorcycle when a car rammed into his motorcycle and knocked him down. As Manji Solanki fell down, the occupants of the car, a group of men belonging to Kathi Darbar (Kshatriya) community, thrashed him with sticks and pipes. After the attackers left him on the road, Solanki called his family for help.

Local villagers and relatives rushed him to Ahmedabad for treatment. Even though severely injured, Solanki narrated the whole incident en route and named his attackers which has been recorded by his relatives. However, he succumbed to his injuries and was declared brought dead by doctors of Civil hospital in Ahmedabad.

A day after the murder, the family members of Manji Solanki refused to accept Solanki’s body from Civil hospital Ahmedabad unless all nine accused who were by identified by Solanki, are arrested. The family has also refused to accept compensation from the government offered to them.

He had been helping several dalits of the village to fight cases of atrocities and that had irked the members of the upper caste who had threatened Solanki multiple times. Solanki had applied for a weapon licence, approval of which is pending with the Collector of Botad.  Solanki had also sought protection from the Home Minister and Director General of Police (DGP) Gujarat, but was yet to receive police protection.

In a letter to DGP in 2010, Solanki whose wife is the sarpanch of the village, had stated that members of Kathi Darbar community (Hindu Uppur Caste) had threatened him and his supporters and had attacked them with swords three times.

Tushar Solanki, son of Manji Solanki claimed that he had been recently attacked four times before the fatal attack on June 19 that claimed his life. The last attack on Solanki was May 3, 2018.

In accordance with the FIR, Tushar Solanki named Bhagirathsinh, Kisansinh and Hardiksinh as accused.

Noticeably, this is the third incident in less than a month when a dalit has been killed by men of the upper castes in Saurashtra region of Gujarat. Last week, one Prakash Parmar was hacked to death in Surendranagar district. Earlier, a dalit youth in Rajkot district who was pursuing the murder case of his father, was killed by family member of the accused who killed his father.


Botad Superintendent of Police Harshad Mehta told The Indian Express that Manji did make a representation to his office on June 6. “He had approached us with a request to give him personal security officers. As part of the due process, the police station concerned was undertaking a threat assessment,” he said, adding that the Dalit family did not have any police protection as of Wednesday.

This is the third incident in less than a month in the Saurashtra region where a Dalit has been murdered, allegedly by Kshatriyas.

The victim’s family claimed Manji’s repeated requests for police protection did not elicit a positive response. Before the attack Wednesday, he had been targeted four times, the last on March 3, 2018 when he was stabbed, claimed Manji’s son Tushar. Thereafter, Manji received police protection, but it was withdrawn two months later on May 17, 2018, according to Arvind Makwana of Navsarjan, an Ahmedabad-based NGO working for Dalit rights..



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