A Dalit woman, Charanjeet Kaur of Duggan village, sat on hunger strike with her son Jagdev Singh outside the deputy commissioner (DC) complex here on Thursday. She has alleged that she was assaulted by Jatt commission agent and Aam Aadmi Party supporter, Jaspal Singh Pala, and his aides, on April 16.
“For the past six months, Pala has been harassing me and asking for sexual favours. On April 16, when I went to light a lamp on the roadside as per our religious beliefs, he made an excuse that I will end up burning his crop and started to beat me. The deputy superintendent of police (DSP) has completed an inquiry according to the SC/ST Atrocities Act, but Pala is still roaming free. I want justice. He should be arrested immediately,” said Charanjeet.
Police have booked Jaspal under Section 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and the SC and ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, at Longowal police station.
Kaur added that she has given written complaints to Longowal station house officer (SHO) DSP Sunam and deputy commissioner (DC) Sangrur that her family is being threatened by Pala’s allies. “We are being threatened. Their presence in the village creates terror for us,” said the Dalit woman.
Charanjeet had gone to light a lamp on the roadside as per her religious beliefs when the accused allegedly abused and hit her. “He is associated with AAP. Local MLA Aman Arora came to the village when he came to know about the AAP worker’s act, and took me to his own hospital to avoid the medico-legal certificate,” she added.
“She often comes here to light a lamp and we warn her that our wheat crop, which is about to harvest, will be damaged. Despite that she continued with her practice. I never tried to assault her. All allegations are baseless. You can ask the residents of the village about my personality,” said Jaspal Singh Pala.
SUPPORT FOR VICTIM
She has been joined by Krantikari Mazdoor Union and some Ambedkar-ite and Dalit revolutionary organisations.
“Deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Sunam, who is investigating the matter, held a meeting with us and has assured to release a report within three days. People of the village, and the revolutionary and Ambedkar-ite unions will fight till justice is delivered,” said Swaranjit Singh, Inqilabi Lok Morcha leader.
Meanwhile, deputy commissioner Amar Partap Singh Virk said that the woman had approached him earlier as well and her issue will be resolved soon. “Police is investigating the case. I will also look into the matter,” said Virk.