Dalit activist Bhanu Vankar attempted self-immolation to protest against delay in allotment of a land piece to a Dalit family.
Ahmedabad: Dalit activist and independent MLA Jignesh Mevani was interrupted and detained by Gujarat police on his way to a rally in Ahmedabad to protest against death of Dalit activist Bhanu Vankar.
Bhanu Vankar succumbed to severe burn injuries on February 15, after he attempted self-immolation to protest against delay in allotment of a land piece to a Dalit family on February 15.
The police maintained that Mevani and the others were taken into preventive custody to maintain law and order situation.
Mevani, however, alleged that the police was violent in their demeanour, dragged him out, broke his car keys and detained him.
“Jignesh Mevani was pulled out of the car in a very uncivilised manner, his car keys were broken and detained by the police while on the way to a peaceful protest at Ambedkar statue in Sarangpur, Ahmedabad. The protest was organised to meet the demands of deceased Bhanuji family,” Mevani posted on his official twitter handle.
Bhanu Vankar's body is kept in Gandhinagar Civil hospital and the state government deployed Rapid Action Force in the city to maintain order.
Bhankar's family had initially refused to cremate him till their demands were accepted after it was brought for post-mortem to the Gandhinagar civil hospital.
The state government accepted their demands on Saturday.
BJP legilator Karsan solanki was hackled by angry members of the Dalit community when he rushed to meet the victim's kin.
Across north Gujarat, highways were blocked as thousands of Dalits came out to protest Vankar's death.
Vankar was also part of Mevani's Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch and was fighting for Hemaben Vankar, a landless Dalit farm labourer, who had alleged that authorities were not allotting a plot to her family despite collecting ₹22,236 as fees in 2013.
Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Saturday said that the main demand of land allotment was accepted.
The state also agreed to set up an inquiry commission headed by a former high court judge or a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the matter.
The government also stated that no one found guilty in the matter would be spared.
Despite deployment of police outside the collector's office, Vankar set himself ablaze while other members who tried to enter the premises were stopped by the police.