9 days after torture, Dalit labourer from Punjab’s Sangrur dies in Chandigarh hospital

Updated on Nov 16, 2019 03:16 PM IST

In his complaint, Jagmail said he had a dispute with Rinku on September 21 after which they had reached a compromise. Villagers said Jagmail was drunk and sitting outside Rinku’s house when the initial argument began.

Jagmail Singh, a 37-year-old Dalit construction worker from Punjab’s Sangrur district, is survived by his wife, two daughters and a minor son.(Sourced)
Jagmail Singh, a 37-year-old Dalit construction worker from Punjab’s Sangrur district, is survived by his wife, two daughters and a minor son.(Sourced)
Hindustan Times, Sangrur | ByAvtar Singh

A 37-year-old Dalit construction worker from Punjab’s Sangrur district died in a hospital in Chandigarh on Saturday morning, nine days after being beaten up and forced to drink urine by upper-caste men, police said.

Police in Lehra town, 55km from Sangrur, have arrested all the four accused and also charged them with murder.

Rinku, Amarjeet Singh, Lucky, alias Goli, and Beeta, alias Binder, all residents of Changaliwala village, had tied Jagmail to a pillar and beaten him with iron rods and lathis at Changaliwala village near Lehra on November 7 following a minor dispute.

They were earlier booked for abduction, wrongful confinement, attempt to commit culpable homicide and voluntarily causing hurt under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act at Lehra police station.

“The victim was undergoing treatment at PGI, Chandigarh, and both his legs had to be amputated to control the spread of infection due to the injuries,” Lehra station house officer Satnam Singh said.

Jagmail is survived by his wife, two daughters and a minor son.

In his complaint, Jagmail said he had a dispute with Rinku on September 21 after which they had reached a compromise. Villagers said Jagmail was drunk and sitting outside Rinku’s house when the initial argument began.

But at 9am on November 7, Rinku and Binder picked up Jagmail from the house of panch Gurdial Singh, saying they were taking him along to give him medicine. Instead, they took him to Rinku’s house where Amarjit was present.

They tied him to a pillar and allegedly beat him up with the iron rods and lathis (iron-bound bamboo stick).

“When I asked for water, they forcibly made me drink urine,” Jagmail had told the police in his complaint.

Doctors at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh said Jagmail was brought to the emergency wing in a serious condition on Friday.

His legs had developed gangrene and the infection could spread to other parts of the body hence both the limbs were amputated, they said.

“One leg was amputated from above the knee, while the other from the thigh. During treatment, he suffered multiple organ failure and died at 4am on Saturday,” a doctor said requesting anonymity.

His death has sparked outrage in Sangrur where Dalit organisations have called a protest, demanding compensation for the family.

“We want strict action against the culprits and the government should compensate the family. A member of the family should be given a government job on humanitarian grounds,” said Bikkar Singh, the district chief of Dalit outfit Zameen Prapti Sangharsh Committee.

(With inputs from Chandigarh)

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