The onus of failing to save the life of a Dalit man, who died days after he was subjected to inhumane assault and forced to drink urine at a Sangrur village, lies on the Punjab Police and health departments, the National Commission of Scheduled Caste (SC) Saturday said.
“Jagmale Singh was brutally assaulted. It was a horrifying incident. More horrible (is the fact) that his life could not be saved due to negligence of health department at various levels. The skin on his leg was plucked with a screwdriver…He was not given proper treatment in time…he could have been saved…a complete failure and negligent approach of health department and police,” said Commission chairman Ram Shankar Katheria.
A panel of the Commission, led by Katheria met the victim’s family at their native village Changali Wala Saturday. A separate delegation of three BJP MPs – Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, VD Ram and Satyapal Singh – also met the family.
Both the teams held closed door meetings with the family including Manjit Kaur, widow of Jagmale Singh, who died at PGIMER Chandigarh on November 16, nine days after the brutal assault on him by four men.
Speaking to the media after meeting the family, Katheria said that it was a total failure on part of police and health departments due to which Jagmale could not be saved. He alleged that health department, at various levels, failed to provide the Dalit man proper treatment. He also said that family was still getting threats and wants to leave the village.
“The family is saying that they are still getting threats. Jagmale’s wife is fearing for the life of her three children. They want to shift from this village and one of their relatives is ready to take them along. We have told Sangrur SSP to take action against those threatening the family. SSP is saying that security has been provided, but the family is still feeling threatened. Wherever they live, police should ensure their security,” said Katheria.
He added that the remaining Rs 14 lakh of the total Rs 20 lakh compensation promised by the Punjab government, will be given to the family by Tuesday. It includes Rs 8.5 lakh compensation as per provision of SC/ST Act. “Family has already been given Rs 6 lakh,” said Katheria.
“Besides this, wife of deceased would be provided a job, free education will be given to their children and mother will be given pension,” he added.
He said that the Commission has asked the top officials of Punjab’s Home, Social Security, health department and the state DGP to submit a comprehensive report of the matter at the Delhi office of commission within 15 days. Katheria also instructed the Inspector General (Patiala Range) to probe the matter for any alleged dereliction.
“Victim’s legs had to be amputated, which clearly means that there was negligence on part of the health department at various levels. They have to submit a report to commission on why he could not be saved and why situation turned so worse that his legs had to be amputated,” said Katheria.
“After 15 days, there will be a meeting at Delhi and those found guilty in fact finding reports will not be spared,” said Katheria, who was accompanied by Commission vice chairman Dr L Murugan and member Dr Yogendra Paswan.
Meanwhile, three member delegation of BJP MPs said that they will b submitting their report to party high command for further action and that it was ‘horrifying incident’.