Protests in Sangrur over killing of Dalit youth

SANGRUR: Activists of some Dalit outfits, social organisations and the Bahujan Samaj Party sat on a protest in Sangrur district of Punjab on Sunday against the brutal assault of a Dalit youth.

Tribune News Service
Sangrur, November 17

Activists of some Dalit outfits, social organisations and the Bahujan Samaj Party held protests in Sangrur on Sunday against the brutal assault of a Dalit youth.

Family of the Dalit man blocked the road at Changaliwala village to demand compensation of Rs 50 lakh and a government job.

 Aam Aadmi Party's  chief Bhagwant Mann said that he would raise the issue in Parliament on Monday. Leader of opposition Harpal Cheema also met family members and announced to support agitation.

The 37-year-old Jagmale Singh was a victim of a brutal assault, allegedly by people of the upper caste. Singh, a Dalit labourer, lost both his legs in the alleged caste crime. He was also allegedly forced to drink urine. Singh died of his grave wounds on Saturday.

The attack sparked protests across the state.

"The family should be given justice. The perpetrators of the crime should be hanged. The Punjab government should give a job to the victim's wife and Rs 50 lakh compensation should be given to the family," a protester said.

The Aam Aadmi Party's Sunam MLA Aman Arora, who also visited the protest site, said the family should get justice and their demands should be met by the government.

Four people have already been arrested in connection with the crime.

The victim's kin have refused to allow post mortem and to take the body until a government job is given to his widow and the family gets Rs 50 lakh compensation. The family also demanded that those responsible for the crime be given exemplary punishment.

The Dalit man is survived by his wife and three children, including two daughters.

His widow told reporters that they have not been approached by any government agency yet.

"Our demand is that exemplary punishment should be given to the accused. The government should give us written assurance that they will give me a job and a compensation of Rs 50 lakh to the family," the victim's wife said.

Expressing grief over the death, Punjab Minister and Sangrur MLA Vijay Inder Singla said: "Whatever has happened is unfortunate. We stand with the family. The accused should get exemplary punishment".

Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly and AAP legislator Harpal Singh Cheema said the family should be given adequate compensation "and they should get police security".

AAP's Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann said such incidents were shameful in a civilised society, and demanded those responsible for the crime be given strict punishment.

After the incident, the opposition parties have attacked the Congress government over the "barbaric treatment" being meted out to Dalits in the state. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said a "rule of jungle" was prevalent in the state.

State Congress chief Sunil Jakhar said strict punishment would be given to those involved in this incident while the Punjab State Scheduled Castes Commission has also sought a report from the Sangrur SP over the incident.

The commission's chairperson, Tejinder Kaur, had on Friday said the rights body had learnt about the incident through media reports and it had taken suo motu cognisance of the matter. With PTI

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