Ahmedabad: Several Dalit activists and leaders were detained on Saturday by the police in the city after they had protested the garlanding of Dr. BR Ambedkar near Sarangpur by BJP MLAs on the occasion of the 127th birth anniversary of Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar.
Acting upon the clarion call of Dalit-rights activist and Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani to protest and not allow any BJP leader to garland the statues of Babasaheb Ambedkar on his birth anniversary, several Dalit activists across the state were seen protesting near the statues of Ambedkar, holding banners and by sloganeering every time some of the other BJP leaders would come to garland and pay obeisance to him.
The city police detained Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch’s Bharat Shah, Subodh Parmar, Adivasi leader Raju Valaiker and Dalit Panther’s Bipin Roy and Jagdish Chavda as they began sloganeering against MP Dr. Kirit Solanki, who represents Ahmedabad (West) in the Parliament, when he came to garland the statue near Sarangpur water tank in Ahmedabad. Ever since Mevani’s call for protest, the police have ensured strong security at sensitive areas where ruckus could happen during the Dalit protests against leaders. Strong police presence was seen around the Ambedkar statue near Swarnim Sankul in Gandhinagar, where Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani along with his ministers had come to garland the statue.