On November 15, 2019 Jagmel Singh, a Dalit labourer aged 34 years was beaten to death in village Chagaliwala in Sangrur district in Punjab. He was called to the house by landlord Amarjeet’s son Rinku. There he was tied to a pillar by landlord Amarjeet Singh, his son Rinku and two others and mercilessly thrashed. When he asked for water he was forced to drink urine. His skin was plucked away by an instrument. He was later admitted to hospital but succumbed to injuries.
This family is notorious for oppression of Dalits. Jagmel’s brother Gurtej Singh also said that he was badly beaten by them two years back and had suffered serious injuries. Cases for two murders are also pending against the members of this family.
Amarjeet owns nearly 28 acres of land and a number of agricultural labourers work on its fields.
Zamin Prapti Sangharsh Committee (ZPSC) which leads the struggle of Dalits for their share of panchayat lands led the struggle against this brutal murder. The culprits have been arrested. Thousands of people demonstrated against this murder. They did not let the police take the body till their demands were met. On November 18, the Govt. agreed to the demands of agitating people. Govt. agreed to give Rs. 20 lakhs to the family besides Govt. job to Jagmel’s wife, Rs. 1.5 lakh for the construction of the house, free education to his children up to graduation. This is besides expeditious trial of the accused and a promise to get this done within three months.
This struggle is part of the struggle of Dalits of the region against exploitation and caste oppression by Jat landlords. People’s mobilization has secured the demands to the family.
November 19, 2019