The Gujarat High Court on Friday granted bail to four accused, including two policemen, who were arrested for their alleged involvement in the Dalit flogging incident at Una town of Gir-Somnath district.
Those granted bail by Justice A J Desai are Shantibhai Monpara, Nitin Kothari, suspended police inspector of Una Nirmalsinh Zala and sub-inspector Narendradev Pandey. Monpara is the trustee of Sanatan Gau-Seva Trust, while Kothari is associated with the trust and allegedly thrashed the Dalits.
During the arguments today, Monpara and Kothari’s lawyer Virat Popat pleaded that both of them should be released on bail as the investigations into the case is complete and the charge sheet is also filed in September.
The counsel urged the court that both his clients are having a clean track-record and no other offence was lodged against them in the past except this one. He urged the court that there is no meaning of keeping the duo in jail at this juncture.
The state government opposed the bail plea of all the four accused, saying that the offence committed by them was of serious nature. Gujarat government also pleaded that the accused may threaten the victims if they are granted bail.
On July 11, seven Dalits of Mota Samadhiyala village of Una taluka in Gir-Somnath district were allegedly thrashed by cow vigilantes when they were skinning a dead cow. Later, four of these Dalit youth were taken to Una town, where they were tied up with a vehicle and allegedly thrashed by the gau rakshaks (cow vigilantes).
The matter came to light after a video of flogging, allegedly made by the vigilantes, went viral on social media platforms. Later, the probe was handed over to CID-Crime.
In the charge sheet, filed in September, CID has alleged that four policemen attached to Una police station, including Zala and Pandey, misused their position by not acting against the perpetrators.
It is alleged that though four Dalits were thrashed for almost 4 to 5 hours by self-proclaimed cow vigilantes, these policemen did nothing to stop the crime.
As per the charge sheet, Kothari is accused of beating these youth in Una along with some other cow vigilantes. Monpara is accused of inciting these cow vigilantes and sending them to the village, which resulted in the atrocities on Dalits.