Following the intervention of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, Goindwal Sahib police have booked a local Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader, Prem Singh, his wife and son-in-law, for committing atrocities on a labourer and his family members.
Zila Prishad member Prem Singh is former sarpanch of historical Goindwal Sahib village. He and his kin have been charged with Sections 370 (buying or disposing of any person as a slave) and 374 (unlawful compulsory labour) of Indian Penal Code (IPC), 16/17 of Bonded Labour Violation Act 1976 and 23/26 of Juvenile Justice case and Protection of Children Act-2000.
The victim, Sewak Singh, had met commission’s vice-chairman Raj Kumar Verka a few days back with the complaint of atrocities being committed by the SAD leader, for whom he had been working for six years. When Sewak Singh, who is a labourer, got his leg injured in an accident, the farmer allegedly forced him to make his 15-year-old son Darshan Singh work for him.
On June 24, Darshan’s hand got cut while shredding the cattle feed. The farmer did not inform his family and took him to a hospital. After four days, he brought Darshan to his house and demanded ` 40,000 from the family against the expenses on his treatment. When they expressed their helplessness, he started beating them, alleged the victim.
Verka had ordered Tarn Taran Police to appear before him on Friday with the action-taken report against the Prem Singh. Superintendent of police (headquarters) Narinder Singh Bedi and station house officer (SHO) of Goindwal Sahib appeared before Verka without any action taken report.
During the appearance, the victim family said the farmer was pressuring them to reach a compromise.
Following which, the vice-chairman directed the police to book the accused. Notably, the social workers also held a protest on Saturday seeking action against the former sarpanch.