The agricultural dalit Community in Sangrur district of Punjab led by the Zameen prapt Sangarh Commiteee, remain as determined as ever in waging a battle for rights promised to them to procure Panchayat land and against injustice meted out on them.
Protest in Hardike Village
On 21 st May In Village Hadike in Sangrur dalit women waging battle for prompt awarding of reserved quota of land and lifting of false charges framed on activists , met a member of the scheduled castes Commission, Chandesehwar Singh Mohi.
A team of activists including Zameen Prapt Sangharsh Commitee leader Paramjeet Kaur ,Jasvir Kuar Hadike, Majit Kuar Hardike stated that they pressurised the scheduled castes commission leader to enforce Scheduled castes/scheduled tribes acts safe guarding their interests and preventing the atrocities perpetrated on dalits in the village.
They elaborated how one of the culprits was admitted to hospital from a self-inflicted injury who was freely roaming around the village, and inspite of the police knowing this they remained passive. A demand was raised for the distribution of quota of land reserved for dalits, for convicting elements who carried attacks on dalit women, for withdrawal of false cases in which dalits were framed. The scheduled castes commission member promised that distribution of panchayat land would be undertaken as soon as possible support for production and repealing of Section 307.
Other activists present were Mandeep Kaur, Kirandeep Kaur, Harbans Kaur, Paramjeet Kaur and Babli.
Around 200 persons participated here.
In Sherpur village on May 23rd the Zameen Prapt Sangharsh Commitee took out a rally in the city and then a protest at the police station against the ploy of upper caste farmers to purchase land from dalits at excessively cheap rates, cheating the dalit community from receiving their fair due. Laws were being enforced to prepare grounds for such transactions to fortify monopoly of upper caste sections. Rage simmered at a boiling point, in a most qualitative protest.
The speakers Paramjeet Longowal and Bikar Hathua recounted how dummy auctioning was undertaken repeatedly over the last year. The police and civil forces have fortified the vested interests in the panchayats.Section 307 was enforced to frame many cases on dalit activists. Demands were upheld fo prompt distribution of reserved land quota, release of all activists framed and implementation of the SC /ST act protecting women from harassment.
Prominent speakers were Gurpreet Khedi, Jaswant Khedi , Jagatra Longowal, Jaswir Kuar, Parmjit Hardike Sarbi Sherpur and Chamkaur Mulewal. Sarpanch Palwinder Kaur, stated that he was completely innocent and framed by the police. Thana Mukhi Sukhwinder Kaur stated that the case was being investigated and in accordance with the judgement action would be taken.
Around 400 persons participated.
Harsh Thakor is a freelance journalist from Mumbai who has toured and reported democratic events and struggles in Punjab and attended programmes of the Zameen Prapt Sangharsh Commitee.