- Boy beaten by men angry at Dalit boycott of picking up carcasses
- Dalit family had decided to boycott after incident in Una
- 4 Dalit men had been flogged by cow vigilantes last month, sparking anger
On Thursday, the Class 10 student (name withheld) was buying chocolates from a shop in Bhavra village, 40 km from Ahmedabad, when two men Sahil Thakor and Sarvar Pathan approached him, he said.
"They asked me why we have stopped picking up dead animals. I told him that since the community has given a call we have stopped it. They got angry and started hitting me and later attacked me with a stone," the boy told NDTV.
He claimed that he had approached the village chief with a complaint but he was ignored.
The boy's father, 42-year-old Dinesh Parmar said that the 20 odd families in the village have been left shaken by the incident.
Mr Parmar, who works as a farm labourer, says he had stopped picking up carcasses from the village following a boycott call issued by their community after four young Dalit men were beaten up in Una in southern Gujarat on suspicion of cow slaughter by self-styled cow vigilantes last month.
"We have decided to boycott the work following the call given by our community and we will continue to do so. But we fear that our families could be attacked further," he said.
The police have arrested both the accused and are probing complaints against the village chief as well. But Dalit families in the village say they fear retribution by the family members of the accused men.
Last weekend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticised cow vigilantes or "gau rakshaks", stating most use religion as a cover for crimes that have nothing to do with protecting the cow, which is held sacred by Hindus.
But the incidents of violence have fed a groundswell of anger in Gujarat among the Dalit community leading to several protests across the state and calls to quit gruelling, poorly-paid jobs forced upon the lowest castes.