Sangrur Dalit''s kin end protest after govt offers Rs 20 lakh, govt job

SANGRUR/CHANDIGARH: Under fire from the Opposition over the death of a Dalit man in the state, the Punjab government on Monday offered to pay compensation of Rs 20 lakh and a government job to the victim’s wife and free education for his children.

Sangrur Dalit''s kin end protest after govt offers Rs 20 lakh, govt job

Protesters in front of the house of Rajinder Kaur Bhattal at Lehra in Sangrur on Monday. Tribune photo

rchopra@tribunemail.com

Tribune News Service
Sangrur/Chandigarh, November 18

Under fire from the Opposition over the death of a Dalit man in the state, the Punjab government on Monday offered to pay compensation of Rs 20 lakh and a government job to the victim’s wife and free education for his children.

The family of 37-year-old Jagmel Singh, who was mercilessly thrashed and forced to drink urine earlier this month, ended their protest after they agreed to the offer made by the state government three days after his death at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here.

The family had refused to allow the post mortem of the body till their demand of Rs 50 lakh compensation and a government job for the victim’s wife were met.

Sandeep Sandhu, political secretary to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, said a compensation of Rs 20 lakh, including Rs 8.15 lakh provided under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, will be given to the next of kin.

Sandhu, who held a meeting with the victim’s family here, further said a government job would also be given to a family member of Jagmel.

Besides, an Additional Director General of Police-rank officer will conduct a probe to find out if there was any lapse on the part of police in this case and a challan against all the four accused would be submitted within seven days, he said.

The government will also bear the education expenditure of his three children till their graduation.

He further said that a sum of Rs 1.25 lakh would also be given for repair of their house.

On October 21, the victim, who was a resident of Changaliwala village in Punjab’s Sangrur district, got into an altercation with one Rinku and some other persons. The dispute was resolved with the intervention of villagers, the police said.

Before his death, the victim had told the police that on November 7, Rinku called him to his house where the two talked about the issue. He had alleged that he was then thrashed by four persons with a stick and an iron rod after being tied to a pillar and was forced to drink urine when he asked for water.

After the incident, the opposition parties have attacked the Congress government over “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. 

Meanwhile, various organisations on Monday gheraoed the residence of former Punjab CM Rajinder Kaur Bhattal at Lehra in Sangrur district.

Earlier, members of these organisations marched towards Bhattal’s residence from Changaliwala village. Members of seven organisations reached the site to hold the protest.

Mukesh Malaud, president of Zameen Prapati Sangharsh Committee, alleged that Bhattal is supporting the accused in the case.

BKU (Ugraha) Lehra block president Dharminder Pashore said the gherao would continue till the acceptance of their demands. — With PTI inputs

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