Even as the Dalit agitation was raging in Gujarat, last week, vigilantes attacked two Dalit men in Lucknow over the skinning a dead cow, accusing them of killing the animal.
The Dalits in Lucknow have refused to remove cow carcasses since July 28, when Vidyasgar and Chhotey were allegedly thrashed in Takrohi area by vigilantes, The Times of India reported today.
"They also threatened to kill them if they carried on with their job," Mohammad Iliyas, the contractor who hired the two Dalit men, told TOI. "We will not lift dead animals. We will let them rot in front of people's houses," Deepak, a second contractor, told the newspaper.
The impunity with which self-appointed vigilantes are terrorizing Dalits and Muslims in the name of cow protection has come into sharp focus since four Dalit men were accused of slaughtering a cow and brutally beaten in the city of Una in Gujarat, last month.
Thousands of Dalits in Gujarat have vowed not to pick up the carcasses to protest against the brutal assault on their community members, while 17 Dalits attempted to kill themselves in order to register their outrage. One Dalit youth who had consumed poison died on Sunday.
The horrific attack, which triggered state-wide protests, culminated in the resignation of Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Monday.
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