Party delegation meets Commission, says it should not buckle down under pressure from the Cong govt
Dawn Punjab Bureau / Chandigarh : The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today asked the Punjab State Scheduled Caste Commission not to buckle down under pressure from the Congress government and order registration of a case against Ludhiana mp Ravneet Singh Bittu for hurting the sentiments of the scheduled caste community of the State.
SAD leaders led by former chief parliamentary secretary Pawan Kumar Tinu met the Commission members here and said it was shocking that the Commission had failed to do its duty by refusing to order the arrest of Bittu under the SC Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989. They said the Commission was the only hope for the oppressed which has become a tool of the Congress party and let off people like Bittu who had referred to Dalits as unholy by stating that they should not be allowed to contest “holy” seats like Anandpur Sahib and Chamkaur Sahib.
Briefing newsmen on the occasion, Mr Tinu alongwith Mla Dr Sukhwinder Sukhi said it was shocking that the Commission had tried to mislead the Dalit community by giving the impression that Bittu had tendered an unconditional apology for passing casteist remarks against the Dalit community. Showing the letter to newsmen, the SAD leader said “nowhere has the Congress mp from Ludhiana apologized for the insult inflicted on the Dalit community in his letter addressed to the SC Commission. In fact Bittu has claimed that the entire issue was a misunderstanding. This amounts to sprinkling salt on the wounds of the Dalit community”.
Mr Tinu said it was shocking that even as Bittu continued to insult the Dalit community, not a singles scheduled caste leader from the Congress party had objected to the same. “This itself is proof that the Dalit leaders in the Congress party have sold the interests of their community for petty political gains”. He said the issue had become one of self respect and the SAD would not relent till action was taken against the Ludhiana mp.
He said the SAD would take up the issue in the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha session also. “We will also take up other issues of the Dalit community including denial of SC scholarship to Dalit students, deletion of aata-daal cards and extreme delay in disbursal of old age pension and ‘shagun’ benefits. Issues like the Congress government’s refusal to honour the promises made to the community including providing houses to the houseless will also be taken up”, Mr Tinu added.