Tribune News Service
Sangrur, July 1
Around 15 persons suffered injuries during a clash between two groups at Tolewal village today over the auction of reserved land for Dalits.
The latter alleged that goons of former sarpanch of the village, having the backing of Congress leaders, attacked them. The other group denied the allegations and claimed that it was a clash between two groups of Dalits.
Earlier, the Panchayat Department had to cancel the auction of the reserved land thrice. Today was its fourth attempt, which took an ugly turn.
Members of the Zameen Prapati Sangharsh Committee (ZPSC) claimed that last month, villagers had passed a resolution after calling gram sabha to hand over the reserved land to Dalits for 33 years on lease. But they alleged that some upper caste people, with the help of Congress leaders, had been trying to take reserved land through their men in the Dalit community for their own use.
“Today when Panchayat officers with the help of the police tried to conduct auction at the anganwari centre, Zameen Prapati Sangharsh Committee members reached there and started raising slogans against the administration. Goons of Congress leader Lal Singh attacked us. A total of 15 persons sustained injuries. One Maya Devi was referred to Patiala due to her critical condition. We will launch an indefinite protest, if the police failed to take legal action against the accused,” said Mukesh Malaud, district president of the Zameen Prapati Sangharsh Committee.
Some villagers said officers first tried to conduct auction at the SC dharmshala, but following opposition by Dalits, they shifted the venue to the government school. After witnessing problems there also, they finally tried to conduct the auction at the anganwari centre.
Lal Singh, former sarpanch of the village, “When the proceedings were about to start, the ZPSC members attacked a group of Dalits who were participating in the auction and a clash ensued. It was a clash between two groups of Dalits and we have nothing to do with it. Some officers were also pushed during the clash.”
Amandeep Kaur, BDPO, Malerkotla-1, said some persons also tried to attack officers, but the latter were saved by the police.
Additional Station House Officer (SHO) of Amargarh police station Kirpal Singh said, “The clash took place over the auction of reserved land. We are conducting investigations and will register a case after recording the statements of those injured in the clash. Further investigations are on.”
- The Panchayat Department had to cancel the auction of the reserved land thrice. This was its fourth attempt.
- The clash took place over the auction of reserved land. No case was registered as yet.
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