Around three months have passed, but the police have failed to arrest Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) local-leader Prem Singh, his wife and son-in-law for allegedly committing atrocities on a poor labourer family, despite National Commission for Scheduled Castes’ (NCSC) intervention into the matter.
The victim, Sewak Ram, of Panipat district in Haryana, had been working with farmer Prem Singh, who is a member of Zila Parishad and former Sarpanch of village Goindwal Sahib, for six years as a bonded labourer. During this time, the SAD leader had allegedly treated him as a slave. When Sewak got his leg injured in an accident, the farmer allegedly forced him to make his 15-year-old son, Darshan Singh, work in his place.
On June 24, Darshan’s hand got cut while shredding the cattle feed. The farmer asked the victim family to pay Rs 40,000 for Darshan’s treatment.
When they expressed their helplessness, he started to harass the family, alleged Debo, the wife of the victim, in an FIR.
The FIR was registered against the former Sarpanch and his kin, 15 days after the incident, under section 370 (buying or disposing of any person as a slave) and 374 (unlawful compulsory labour) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 16/17 of Bonded Labour Violation Act 1976 and 23/26 of Juvenile Justice case and Protection of Children Act of 2000. This was after NCSC’s vice-chairman Raj Kumar Verka tightened noose around the cops.
The victim family said that they are being deprived of justice as the accused are moving freely and the police have not arrested them. The victims said the accused continue to pose threat to them and are pressurising them for compromise.
Describing the injustice against them, the family has sent a letter to all the officials concerned. The NCSC’s vice chairman said that he will find out why the police are not arresting the accused.
“If need arises, a probe will be conducted into the matter and we will ensure justice for the victim family,” he added.
“If the victim family faces any problem, they can directly contact us. We are making efforts to arrest the accused and will soon succeed to do so,” said superintendent of police (headquarter) Narinder Singh Bedi.