A human rights forum has rapped the Gujarat Police and the administration for their alleged sluggish response to the brutal beating of Dalit youths for skinning a dead cow at Gir Somnath.
A note prepared by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights quoted independent fact-finding reports to claim the police "did not" intervene despite coming across the Dalit men being beaten by cow vigilantes.
"An independent fact-finding report notes that while on the way to the town, the car was stopped by a police vehicle but was allowed to continue. Presumably, the police would have seen that Dalit men had been badly beaten, yet they did not intervene," the note claimed.
According to the fact-finding report, the police did not register the FIR until six hours after the beating stopped, the report added.
So far, 16 people have been arrested in connection with the assault, while four policemen have been suspended for alleged dereliction of duty.
"That the incident went on for hours in full public view reportedly near a police station exposes the total apathy of the local police. Given that the men were paraded through the town, the group is likely to have crossed several police station jurisdictions," it said.