Sixteen new special courts will start working in Gujarat next month, hearing cases of atrocities against scheduled castes and schedules tribes, the state government said on Thursday.
The announcement follows widespread protests in Gujarat triggered by the public flogging of Dalits by cow vigilantes in the town of Una in July.
According to a notification issued by the Gujarat legal department Thursday, these courts will function from 1 October and only hear cases under Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
These courts are being set up in consultation with the chief justice of the Gujarat high court, according to the notification.
While Ahmedabad will get two courts, 14 will be set up in different districts, including Vadodara, Surat, Junagadh, Kutch, Mehsana, Patan, Rajkot, Gandhinagar and Jamnagar.
Earlier on 18 July, the Gujarat government announced it was setting up a special designated court for the trial of the accused in the Una case.
Following that incident, Dalit groups have been agitating in the state demanding justice for the community.