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Report on Meemsa attack

Report from Harsh Thakor

On June 15th 4 participants of the revolutionary dalit agricultural labour movement were brutally assaulted by a sarpanch and policeman in village of Meemsa in Sangrur. Punjab Radical Student Union leader Rashpinder Jimmy along with three other leaders were coming to Jakhla village on June 15 night, when accused sarpanch of Meemsa village Sukhvir Singh along with around 29 other persons attacked them over the auction of a common village land. The three other injured include Pargat Singh from Naujwan Bharat Sabha, Baljit Singh from Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union and Manjit Singh from Pruitt was a perfect illustration of how semi-feudal casteist repression in Punjab is part and parcel of the agenda and system of the rulers to patronize goonda elements to supress pro-dalit struggles.

The attack was in the background of a most qualitative organized movement of the landless dalit community to win their 1/3rd panchayat right by Punjab Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union. For a considerable period, the Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union has lit the torch in the struggle of emancipating the landless dalit agricultural labour from oppression. Distribution of panchayat was implemented in many villages with propaganda launched in over 50 villages spreading engulfing Sangrur, Dhuri and Suman villages. Around 106 acres of land have been distributed amongst the landless dalits through captures. Even other general demands were raised like employment for not less than 100 days. 5 marlas to be awarded to every dalit family, charges to be dropped on dalit activists framed, surplus land distributed as promised in land ceilings act which prevented any individual from owning more than a certain limit etc. In many instances the KPMU resisted organized attacks of upper caste elements with goondas and connivance of the administration on Dalits. It also led organized protests for land to be auctioned to dalits at substantially lesser rates. Last July in Jhandu village in Sangrur it won a victory in getting land auctioned at a substantially cheaper rate. A major resistance protest was also held in Khandka and similar protests in other region condemning attacks on activists by upper caste landlords. KPMU also organized maha panchayats or conferences in 2017 and 2018 raising political demands of dalit community. It placed considerable emphasis on combating goondaism.

A protracted resistance or anti repression movement has been launched by the Meemsa anti-repression joint action committee comprising 17 organizations in Punjab. A major protest conference was launched in Sangrur comprising 1500 people on July 24th.The Action Committee finally said that if justice was not implemented within five days (because already the case has been too high), the action committee would prolong the resistance Its demands were to

1. Arrest the culprits,

2. Suspend Sarpanch Village Meemsa and panchayat secretary jagjit singh joga from positions.

3. Cancel the false cross case on leaders,

4. Cancel Fir 140 filed on meemsa village leader paramjeet kaur and baljit singh.

Harsh Thakor thakor.harsh5@gmail.com

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Aug 8, 2019