Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dalit boycott ends as both parties reach ‘comprise’

A month-long tussle between Dalits and farmers over daily wages in Mahasinghwala on Wednesday ended after administration intervened.
 A team of district administration headed by Sub-Divisional Magistrate, forced both the parties to reach a "compromise” on the issue of boycott of Dalits Kangroo court orders by landlords.The landlords had passed orders of boycott of Dalits over ‘exorbitant’ wages, and these orders were in force since June 10. The diktats were lifted after both parties reached a written compromise in the presence of officials.

However, within hours Dalits termed the ‘compromise’ as an intimidating act by district administration. Dalit Movement Against Servitude (DMAS) announced to hold a protest against the deputy Commissioner.
Jai Singh, patron of DMAS said, DMAS will settle the case only when the accused would get punishment for violating rights of Dalits, which they did by challenging the Indian constitution and Law by passing own diktat.

“They tried to settle wages at Rs. 125 per days, which is against Remuneration Act, passed diktat that no one will be compensated in case of death of labourer, which is against Employees Compensation Act, fixed salary of domestic agri-help at Rs. 30,000 and if a Dalit got new job the new landlord will pay the remaining amount to previous employer, which confirms that bonded labour in prevalent village. So in this light, how can a comprise be reached”.He said that this is just a tip of the iceberg as Dalits are also being boycotted in other villages.

Satnam Singh one of a Dalit victim alleged, “There is no compromise. Police pressured a section of Dalits to reach comprise. Even the landlords are not willing. Officials, did all this to save their skin from action. How can we reach compromise, when entire paddy sowing season has passed without earning a single penny? It's injustice meted out to us”.Dalits also alleged that farmers, who belong to majority community, exercised their influence to not let Dalits find jobs in neighbouring villages.

Meanwhile, SDM Subhash Chander said that the issue has been settled and district administration has taken the affidavit of both the parties for settlement with due consent.

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