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Dalit Women Protest In Punjab, Demand Redistribution Of Land In The State

Dalit Women Sangrur Protest
Dalit Women Sangrur Protest: Dalit women in hundreds staged a protest in Punjab’s Sangrur on Tuesday and demanded the implementation of Land Ceiling Act in the state.

The women under the banner of Zameen Prapti Sangharash Committee (ZPSC) gathered on Dhuri road and marched to district administration complex raising slogans, as per a report.

According to a report by Hindustan Times, the zonal secretary of ZPSC Paramjit Kaur Longowal said that Dalits comprising of 33 per cent of Punjab’s population only have less than two per cent of the land. The land reforms in the state were introduced in 1952 and 1972. Longowal claimed that the upper-caste landlords acquire most of the land in the state and are still purchasing from land from small farmers.

As per the Longowal, the Land Ceiling Act states that one family can only own 17 acres of land the excess should be redistributed.

She said, “The landless Dalits are facing caste oppression in villages. Only equal distribution of land can bring equality to Dalits in society. Dalit women are the biggest victims of caste oppression and economic oppression.” Another protestor claimed that the state government is denying loans to Dalits and they end up taking money from private lenders in high interest rates.

The protests took place just a day after Punjab appointed its first Dalit Chief Minister, Charanjit Singh Channi. The chief of ZPSC in Punjab, Mukesh Malaudh said, “Just a CM face will not change the fate of Dalits. Channi promised free water and electricity like Amarinder Singh and Badals but did not touch the issue of land in his first press meet.”

Channi’s appointment has been opposed by many as he was accused of sexual misconduct earlier. The National Commission for Women Chief Rekha Sharma, sought his resignation on Monday. Sharma called Channi’s appointment “shameful and objectionable” and added that no other woman should go through similar experience. The Chief Minister had allegedly sent an inappropriate message to a female IAS officer in 2018 and no complaint was filed against him.

Feature Image Credit: The Tribune