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Gujarati writer returns award against beating of Dalits

Ahmedabad : Gujarati writer Amrutlal Makwana has returned a state award he got in protest against the beating of some Dalit youths in the state by cow vigilantes.

A Dalit writer, Makwana, 44, was given the Dasi Jeevan Shreshth Dalit Sahitya Kruti Award for 2012-13 for his work “Kharapat Nu Dalit Lok Sahitya”. The award included Rs 25,000 in cash and a citation.

He quietly walked into the Ahmedabad District Collector’s office on Wednesday and surrendered his award.

“I handed over a brief letter to the authorities saying that I am returning this award out of grief and pain due to the treatment meted out to Dalit youths,” he said.

He addressed the letter to Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.

Makwana, who lives in Wadhwan town in Surendranagar district, said such attacks on Dalits had become a regular event in the state and the government had not done enough to give justice to Dalits.

“The attack in Mota Samadhiyala village of Gir-Somnath district was ghastly and barbaric. It completely shook me. Sadly, such incidents are happening around us regularly,” he said.