Punjab

Dalit facing discrimination in crematorium Kotguru village in Bathinda

September 23, 2017 07:26 PM
A wall under construction at the entrance of the crematorium

Bhatinda: An alleged case of discrimination against the Dalits has come to light with members of upper caste communities in Kotguru village in Bathinda constructing a wall blocking the entrance to their cremation ground. The only way left for them to access the site is reportedly through a waste dump.

Sangat BDPO Bhupinder Singh said, “Some members from the Ramdassia Sikh community from Kotguru met me on Thursday and made a complaint about the entry being blocked to their cremation ground. I will visit the spot and do the needful. No discrimination will be allowed against anyone.“

The affected members of the community met with the Sangat block development and panchayat officer (BDPO) on Friday to apprise him of the situation.

The village panchayat has nine members, of which five are Dalits. The village is part of the Bathinda (rural) assembly constituency reserved for the scheduled castes. The constituency is represented by Rupinder Kaur Ruby of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

According to Kotguru resident Jaspal Singh said, “The village has three cremation grounds, one each for the upper castes, the Mazhabi Sikhs and the Ramdassia Sikhs. The crematoriums share common ground. Nearly a week ago, members of the upper castes blocked the small gate leading to the cremation ground meant for the Ramdassias by building a wall. Now, Ramdassias either have to walk from the waste dump or scale the wall to reach the cremation ground.Two days ago an old woman from the community died and we had to take her body for cremation through the waste dump.“

Meanwhile, Balkaran Singh, husband of Kotguru sarpanch Gurwinder Kaur, said, “A small wall has been built to stop stray cattle from getting into the cremation ground. We had no intention of discriminating against the Ramdassias. Only a few people are making an issue out of it.“

Sangat BDPO Bhupinder Singh said, “Some members from the Ramdassia Sikh community from Kotguru met me on Thursday and made a complaint about the entry being blocked to their cremation ground. I will visit the spot and do the needful. No discrimination will be allowed against anyone.“

“I have come to know about the issue. I will look into it ,“ said MLA Ruby .

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