BJP sets up panel to probe Dalit death in Cong's Punjab

Satyapal Singh, a former senior police, is among the panel set to probe the death of the Dalit worker

BJP on Thursday set up a three-member committee of party leaders to enquire into the death of a Dalit construction worker in Congress-ruled Punjab, who had succumbed to his injuries nine days after allegedly being badly beaten up and forced to drink urine.

The panel of three MPs of BJP that will carry out a field visit before they report about it to the central party leadership has party Vice President and Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and two Lok Sabha MPs---former Union Minister Satyapal Singh and V D Ram, who had been senior police officers (Ram a former DGP).

The inclusion of two former seniors cops in the BJP probe team is apparently to give some more credence to its report even as the district police have already arrested all the four accused in the case, all belonging to the upper caste.

The youth was allegedly tied to a pillar and beaten up with iron rods and lathis.

Politics is set to hot up over the issue in the Congress-ruled state, where Congress has for decades been the main recipient of Dalits votes, a constituency in which BJP has now deep inroads in other parts of the country. Assembly polls in Punjab are, however, two and half years away.

The committee which has been tasked to enquire into and report about the recent incident of the brutal murder of the Dalit labourer Jagmail Singh will visit village Chandliwala in district Sangarur, where the incident happened on Saturday, where they will meet with the family of the victim.

“The committee, apart from other issues; will also look into the serious allegations of apathy on the part of the government officials and state police in extending quick medical assistance to the deceased and incorporating section 302 in the FIR against the culprits of this heinous crime,” the party said in a statement.

The Committee, which will also meet community leaders and other villagers during its visit, will be submitting its report to the Party leadership after its visit.  Punjab has nearly 32 percent of dalit population and is the home state of the pioneer of recent dalit politics Kanshi Ram.

The 37-year-old Dalit construction worker had died in a hospital in Chandigarh on Saturday morning, nine days after the heinous incident. The police later arrested all the four accused and charged them with murder. The protests over the issue ended after the state government agreed to pay compensation of Rs 20 lakh and job to the deceased’s wife.

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