Jalandhar, May 22
The Pendu Mazdoor Union organised a protest in connection with the manhandling of Dalit women and girls in Dayalpur village. The protesters gathered at Desh Bhagat Hall and marched to the office of SSP Jalandhar (Rural), surrounding the premises for about two hours while demanding the immediate identification and arrest of all individuals involved, particularly Akali leaders.
During the protest, the union members raised slogans and handed over a demand letter directed to the CM to the Tehsildar after staging a dharna at the DC office. Tarsem Peter, the union president, along with general secretary Avtar Singh Rasulpur and state press secretary Kashmir Singh Ghugshore, highlighted the struggles of farmers and labourers that led to the enactment of the Land Ceiling Act of 1972.
The union called upon the government to address key issues concerning farmers and labourers and to act impartially in cases related to the SC/ST Act. Their demands included the distribution of surplus lands under the Land Ceiling Act among landless labourers and small farmers, granting permanent ownership rights to Dalits for one-third of panchayat lands, providing ownership rights to those living within the redline, ensuring a minimum daily wage of Rs1,000 for workers in all sectors, and guaranteeing stable employment opportunities, among other issues.
The protesters cited a recent incident involving Akali leader and former minister Bikram Singh Majithia, who visited Dayalpur village near Kartarpur to seek votes. Women and a young girl confronted him with these same questions. However, instead of providing substantive responses, he evaded them and left the scene. The protesters alleged that Majithia’s associates publicly humiliated the women and girls, physically assaulting them and using abusive language.
“Despite the evidence, Majithia hasn’t been booked due to the political pressure on the police,” the union members said, adding that if the government fails to take action in the case, they will be forced to intensify their protest.
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