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Madhya Pradesh: Historic decision by Jetpura gram panchayat; Rs 5 lakh fine for caste discrimination, land – Free Press Journal

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Dhar (Madhya Pradesh): Jetpura Gram Panchayat of Dhar district has decided to impose a fine of Rs 5 lakh on person practising caste discrimination. Besides, his land too would be acquired by the panchayat and a letter would be issued warning of legal action.
Following implementation of the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act in state, state panchayats are gradually becoming self-sufficient in terms of resolving problems and making decisions. The Jetpura panchayat decision is seen as reflective of rural body’s new-found power.
Sarpanch Vardi Bai Davar said that during a meeting on Wednesday, gram panchayat decided to end practice of casteism and discrimination. “All people are equal irrespective of caste, religion, gender and education. All have been given equal Fundamental Rights by the Constitution,” he said.
In the past, influential people were not giving equal rights to people from the lower caste. “This is wrong. In ancient times, panch was equated with God and a decision by the panch was binding for all,” he said.
He further said panchayat had been given many rights by the government. All villagers should unite and accept the decision of the panchayat and move forward on the path of development. Panchayat has also been given the right to resolve minor disputes of villagers through the PESA Act, he added.
In such a situation, the chairman of the PESA Act and the members of the committee decided to take the above-mentioned step.
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