Dalit families of Mansa village face boycott : The Tribune India

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Dalit families of Mansa village face boycott

MANSA: Around 10 Dalit families of Burj Dhillwan village here are facing a boycott after a circle head of the Youth Akali Dal allegedly got announced in the village gurdwara that members of these families should not be given any work.

Dalit families of Mansa village face boycott

Members of a Dalit family outside their house in Burj Dhilwan village of Mansa district. A TRIBUNE PHOTOGRAPH



Bharat Khanna

Tribune News Service

Mansa, December 24

Around 10 Dalit families of Burj Dhillwan village here are facing a boycott after a circle head of the Youth Akali Dal allegedly got announced in the village gurdwara that members of these families should not be given any work.

A fine of Rs 5,000 has been allegedly announced for anybody giving employment or any other work to these families. Anybody informing about any such “violation” of the diktat will get Rs 2,000. All this was announced from the village gurdwara today.

These families are being penalised for laying a kutcha pavement over a drain passing by the gates of their houses. Members of these Dalit families alleged that Akali leader Gurmeet Singh Nikka himself made an announcement to this effect in the gurdwara.

Sukhdev Singh said he lived near the cremation ground and had laid a pavement on the drain as it had become difficult to bear the stench emanating from it. “As the gurdwara management refused to make any announcement against us, the Akali leader himself came forward and made the announcement. We are already facing abject poverty. Three days ago, a number of upper cast people gathered here along with panchayat members and threw our household goods into a nearby pond. They also assaulted and abused our women. We have submitted complaints to SHO Harpal Singh and met the Senior Superintendent of Police in that regard, but to no avail,” he said.

The drain was forcibly constructed two years ago following which they had lodged several complaints with the district administration, but no action was initiated.

Nikka said, “The announcement about the boycott was made by someone else and not me. I was just present there along with some villagers who were criticising the action of the Dalit family.”

Panchayat member Harbans Singh denied the allegations of thrashing Dalit families and tearing clothes of their women. He said Nikka was being defamed by the Dalits.

SSP Raghubir Singh Mann could not be contacted for his comments. SHO Harpal Singh said, “We came to knew about the issue two days ago when a tussle between the Dalits and some villagers came to the fore. But, we have no information about today’s happenings.”

Majdur Mukti Morcha leader Bhagwant Smao, said, “Akali leaders have turned shameless. It is shameful to snatch bread from the mouth of a person who is already starving. We will stage a protest if the police fail to take action against the Akali leader.”

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