Dalits prevented from using cremation ground in Punjab

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Ferozepur, Jun 11 (UNI) Tension gripped Bholuwala village in the district when the dominating Jat Sikh community of the village did not allow the body of an old Dalit woman to be cremated at the common cremation ground of the village yesterday, police today said.

The situation in the village became tense when Dalit families tried to cremate the body of Gurdial Kaur (75) at the common cremation ground of the village. The influential Jat Sikhs of the village did not permit them to perform the last rites, sources said.

Sources claimed that certain Jat Singhs demolished the pyre which was objected to by the dalit community members.

Sensing the grim situation, the district administration sent the local executive magistrate and SHO, Ghal Khurd police station on the spot to defuse the tension. The officers succeeded in persuading the dalits to cremate the body at a vacant piece of land in the village.

According to information avaliable, certain Jat Sikh families had filed a case sometime back in a local court to prevent the dalits from using the common cremation ground of the village. The court had issued a stay order in favour of the Dalits, pending a final decision.

The Jat Sikh community members claimed that they hadn not received any stay order from the court. They said the Dlits had already been given a separate piece of land, measuring about one kanal, for use as a cremation ground.

Jagtar Singh, a resident of the village, belonging to the dominant caste said Dalits had unnecessarily raised this issue at the behest of some local politicians to create tension. However dalit families alleged that oppressive means were used by the dominant community from time-to-time to harass them.

UNI XC-HS BDP AS2120

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