Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 18
After several rounds of negotiations, the Punjab Government today reached an agreement with protesting Dalit outfits as it offered Rs 20 lakh compensation and a government job to the wife of a man who died after being allegedly thrashed by a landlord family of native Changaliwala village in Sangrur.
Following the agreement, the family of 37-year-old Jagmale Singh and other activists called off their agitation and agreed to cremate the body on Saturday. After being brutally assaulted on November 7, Jagmale was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, where his legs had to be amputated and he succumbed to his injuries on November 16. As per the eight-point agreement, the family will be given Rs 20 lakh — Rs 6 lakh on the day of post-mortem and Rs 14 lakh once the last rites are performed.
Edit: Dalit done to death
The government has also agreed to give a Group-D job to the victim’s wife after relaxing qualification criteria. Besides, the government would bear the cost of education of Jagmale’s children up to graduation, provide his family free ration for six months and give Rs 1.25 lakh for house repair.
The police have been directed to present a chargesheet in the case within a week and make efforts to bring the culprits to justice within three months. ADGP Gurpreet Deo has been deputed to conduct inquiry against erring police officials and recommend suggestions to prevent such incidents.
At the negotiations, the government was represented by Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla, Technical Education Minister Charanjeet Singh Channi and Captain Sandeep Sandhu, OSD to the Chief Minister. The other side was led by Zameen Prapti Sangharsh Committee’s Gurmukh Sekha and victim’s wife Manjeet Kaur.
Sekha said though the agreement had been reached, the issue of oppression of Dalits was much bigger. “We will continue our struggle against it till exemplary punishment is secured for the accused,” he said. Earlier, Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union activists organised protests across the state, including in Jalandhar, Muktsar, Faridkot, Moga and Bathinda.
SC panel to send team
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes is likely to send its probe team, led by its vice-chairman L Murugan, to Sangrur this week. Former Punjab Scheduled Castes Commission chairman Rajesh Bagha made a representation before the commission in New Delhi on Monday.
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