Attacked last month for seeking shamlat land, Dalit woman dies

CHANDIGARH/SANGRUR: A 70-year-old Dalit activist of the Zameen Prapati Sangharsh Committee (ZPSC), who was injured in a clash with landlords last month, succumbed to injuries at PGI here today.

Attacked last month for seeking shamlat land, Dalit woman dies

Gurdev Kaur died at the PGI, Chandigarh, on Saturday. Tribune file photo

editorial@tribune.com

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/Sangrur, Nov 12

A 70-year-old Dalit activist of the Zameen Prapati Sangharsh Committee (ZPSC), who was injured in a clash with landlords last month, succumbed to injuries at PGI here today.

The deceased, Gurdev Kaur, was from Sangrur’s Jaloor village.

The Left groups called her the “first martyr” of the Dalits’ struggle for village common land.

On October 5, landlords allegedly attacked a group of Dalits from the ZPSC when they were returning to Jaloor after staging a dharna in front of the Lehragaga SDM’s office. They were demanding on lease 6 acres of village common land for Dalit families.

The incident left 24 people injured from both sides, including Gurdev Kaur.

Her son Balwinder Singh and husband Lal Singh were booked in connection with the clash. They are lodged in Sangrur jail.

The ZPSC, in its complaint, had alleged the landlords backed by local Akali leaders tried to cut Gurdev Kaur’s leg. She was brought to PGI, where a surgery was performed.

In a press release, ZPSC leader Mukesh Malaud demanded that a case of murder should be registered against Harjinder Singh Mangoo, Gurlal Singh, Gurdeep Singh Babban, Naib Singh, Maninder Singh Fauji and Amrital Singh, and their accomplices.

He also demanded quashing of “false cases” against ZPSC activists and release of 18 Dalits and leaders, including Balbir Singh Jhaloor and Pirthi Singh Longowal.

The ZPSC alleged the police and the local administration were supporting the landlords.

Hundreds of activists of several labourer and farmer unions started a dharna outside the Sangrur DC’s office. They said the dharna would not be lifted till their demands were met.

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