Wednesday, June 9, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Dalit sarpanch ostracized for contesting poll

Dalit sarpanch ostracized for contesting poll

Deepender Deswal, TNN, Jun 9, 2010, 02.33am IST

ROHTAK: Bhoop Singh, a brick kiln worker in Army chief V K Singh's
village in Bhiwani district, could be walking proud. Afterall, a
Scheduled Caste sarpanch is a rarity in this socially conservative,
caste-conscious jat belt.

But Bhoop Singh now moves sleathily with armed escorts provided by the
state administration to protect him from the upper caste community
leaders of Bapora village who insist that all major panchayat and zila
parishad posts were wrongly reserved for SCs. The upper caste leaders
had forced most villagers to boycott Monday's local election and say
they won't recognize the lower caste man as the village panchayat

Soon after Bhoop Singh was elected unopposed on Monday, villager
elders held a meeting and issued a fiat ordering residents to
ostracize Singh and his family. Villagers said they were told not to
talk or have any relations with the family of the new sarpanch.

''We have decided not to keep any with relations his family and we
have decided not to acknowledge him as sarpanch of the village,'' said
Mitersein, a villager.

Bhoop Singh could not be reached for comment. A villager said he had
not been seen in the village since May 27 after the village elders
held a meeting and resolved to boycott the local election.

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