Friday, July 04, 2003

Dalit farmer tortured in Malwa, Punjab

Vishal Malhotra

Friday, July 4, 2003 (Chandigarh):

Following the green revolution in Punjab, the economic conditions of Dalits may have improved but their social status remains the same.

It is men like Baldev Singh, who have brought prosperity to Malwa in Punjab by tilling the land, but they are still shackled by their social status.

After his employer Paramjit Singh accused him of stealing diesel, Baldev says he was tied up and beaten incessantly for two days and then had acid thrown on him.

"Two nights ago they beat me, then again last night. They injured my arm and threw acid on it," said Singh.

"My brother works as bonded labour on the landlord's farm. They picked him up the night before, beat him up and threw acid on him. They also threatened to take him to the police station," added Jagdev Singh, Baldev's brother.

He is now being treated for his injuries and the police has only registered a case.

"We have filed a case against the employer. We now need to take Baldev's statement on what happened," said Kabul Singh, Lambhi police station.

Baldev's story is one of many Dalits', who have been abused and exploited by their employers simply because the law enforcement machinery takes a lenient view of offences like these.

Source: NDTV, July 4, 2003

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