Once torn by caste violence, Mirchpur gets 1st Dalit sarpanch
.Hisar, Nearly 12 years after caste violence ravaged Mirchpur village, a Dalit woman from Ludhiana has become the sarpanch of this village in the district.
Aim — Model village
I want to develop Mirchpur as a model village. The village is facing several issues, including proper drainage of rainwater from fields. I have my task cut out. — Rajni, New Sarpanch
The woman, Rajni (24), got married to Ashok Kumar, belonging to an upper caste, in 2017. As the post of sarpanch was reserved for a Scheduled Caste woman, she took it as an opportunity and the villagers backed her.
Rajni won by 1,628 votes. She polled 2,987 votes while her nearest rival, Anita, got 1,359 votes. The village has 7,113 voters. This is the first time ever that the village has elected a sarpanch from the Dalit community.
Mirchpur village had shot to notoriety due to caste violence in April 2010 in which two Dalits were killed after an upper caste mob set their houses afire. A number of violence-affected families deserted the village and are now settled at the newly established Deen Dayal Puram near Hisar. The court had convicted 32 persons for the violence. Nine candidates were in the fray. Rajni said she had an inter-caste marriage with a Jat youth in 2017. “I will work to restore the brotherhood in the village. The new panchayat will explore employment opportunities for women,” she said.
Chetna, the most educated among the nine candidates, said Rajni got the benefit of having got married in an upper caste family.
Rupesh, husband of one of the candidates, Reena, however expressed displeasure over the system in which an SC woman is allowed to contest the poll on a reserved seat even after getting married to youth of the upper caste.
Chander Prakash, who was a member of the peace committee after violence struck the village, said that they had put the past behind and there was now complete harmony in the village.
Courtesy : The Tribune
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