“Women carry about 2000 kg of mud everyday to earn a pittance in NREGA. But here in Patiala they do not get their wages for four months at a stretch. We demand revision and increase in NREGA wages”, said Brinda Karat while addressing a well attended public meeting in Patiala. She paid homage to the former secretary of Patiala, Inderjit Singh Bhagrana who was killed because he defended a Dalit woman in a sexual assault case. The present Secretary is also a martyr’s son whose father was killed by terrorists. She lauded the Patiala tradition of martyrdom.
Hannan Mollah, Inderjit Singh and leaders of Punjab and Patiala are the other speakers who addressed the public meeting.
Women of Sukhoha village in, Patiala district gave Brinda a memorandum – 20 years back consolidation of land happened and plots for garbage processing were alloted to the scheduled castes. These people also built a Gurdwara there. On 27th August 2012 they were evicted from the place. The police in collusion with land mafia, perpetrated a false case and seven people, of whom six are women, are now in jail. As the police authorities are indifferent to their plight, they asked Brinda Karat to intervene and expedite the release the arrested women. Manjit Kaur, Charanjit Kaur and Manjit Kaur are among those imprisoned. The struggle for justice is on.