Union minister seeks report over boycott of Dalits in Punjab

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Union minister Vijay Sampla today sought a report from the Punjab chief secretary over the alleged boycott of Dalits by upper caste farmers in a village in Sangrur district.

The landless Dalit families of Dhandiwal village in Sangrur have allegedly been facing a boycott by upper caste farmers for the past two weeks for demanding higher wages.

The upper caste farmers had reportedly announced a Rs 5,000 fine against anybody providing work or having social links with the Dalits.

Sampla has asked the state government to explain why the Dalits “have been ostracised and what action it has taken in the matter”.

Giving out details, state BJP secretary Vineet Joshi said here, “after writing to the Punjab government Vijay Sampla had a word with Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh and sought complete report from him…the Chief Secretary assured Sampla that the issue would be resolved soon”.

Joshi said in a release here that “landless Dalit families of Dhandiwal village have been facing boycott by upper caste farmers for the past 15 days for demanding higher wages. They have fallen short of fodder for their cattle as the farmers are not allowing them to enter their fields. Also the farmers are struggling hard to fend for themselves”.

The Punjab State Scheduled Castes Commission (PSSCC) has also summoned the Sangrur Deputy Commissioner and SSP taking suo motu cognisance on the issue.

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