Friday, December 20, 2002

HC orders collector to take action on boycott issue

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court has ordered the Sabarkantha district collector to take action within two months against the social boycott of Dalits by the upper caste Hindus over the burial ground issue at Vaghrota village of Prantij taluka.

Passing the order, Justice H K Rathod directed the collector to act on the report of taluka development officer for resolving the dispute. The court also asked the district administration to take all necessary steps for establishing peace and harmony between upper caste and Dalits in the village. Advocate S H Iyer appeared for the petitioners.

The village, which is dominated by the upper caste members, had declared a social boycott of Dalits who are not allowed to purchase even essential commodities from their shops. Dalits are also not allowed to sell their commodities.

The boycott followed a dispute between the Dalits and villagers over a Dalit burial ground. The petitioners claim that they have been burying their dead since generations. The upper castes have built a temple there and have plans to build a school also, which was opposed strongly leading to the tension.

Source: The Times of India, December 20, 2002

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