Taking a suo-moto notice over the killing of a 32-year-old Dalit man, the Punjab State Schedule Caste Commission
has directed state police authorities to submit a report by 28 February.

The Commission has asked the director, bureau of investigation and senior superintendent of police (SSP), Tarn Taran, to file an action taken report on the incident in which Surjit Singh, belonging to a Dalit family was killed and other family members were injured in the attack by a former head of village, Palasaur, in Tarn Taran district.

In Press statement, the Commission’s chairman Rajesh Bagha said that the attack on Dalit family during the Assembly elections in the state was most unfortunate. “It has come to his notice that the FIR registered against the accused doesn't contain the sections of Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

The kind of weapons used by the accused was a matter of investigation as all the weapons were deposited as per the orders of the district administration during the conduct of assembly polls,” Bagha said.

Last week, a group of 50 Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) workers, including a former sarpanch, allegedly barged into Surjit’s house and opened fire on the family in Palasaur village, 10 kms from Tarn Taran.

The attackers reportedly held a grudge against the Dalit family, also supporters of the SAD, following an altercation during an election meeting on January 29. While Surjit was shot in the forehead and died on the spot, his other brother, Jaswant Singh, received a bullet injury in his leg.