In Modi’s India, cows have rights, not humans says Dal Khalsa
On the 70th Human Rights Day, marching through the streets of Gurdaspur, which has seen tremendous human rights violations in the past, Dal Khalsa activists and victims’ family members questioned India’s human rights violations and urged UN to push for exemplary punishment to police and security forces responsible for human rights violations in the Punjab.
On the 70th Human Rights Day, Dal Khalsa activists and victim family members marched through Gurdaspur culminating in a protest sit-in public meet which depicted photographs of those killed and disappeared, with leaders putting the Indian government in the dock by stating that if New Delhi is not at fault, then why is it not allowing Amnesty International, UNHRC and HRW to visit Punjab and examine the flagrant abuse of human rights in the state.
The pro-freedom Sikh group was holding a protest sit-in to mark the 70th World Human Rights Day. During the march victims’ families of state-repression were seen holding photographs of their kith and kin who were killed or who disappeared involuntary during the years of insurgency in Punjab.
With tears swelling up their eyes, parents and relatives gazed to the skies, asking, “Where are our loved ones and when will we get justice?” Hitting hard at the silence of the United Nations, Dal Khalsa sought to know, “The Butcher of Bosnia has been punished. When will Butchers of Sikhs be in the dock?”.
Party head Advocate Harpal Singh Cheema while addressing the protest said today it sounds clichéd to talk of respect for human rights in Punjab. It is distressing that a string of international report of Rights groups and even Indian non-governmental organisations has not made any dent in the wilfully negligent and pro-actively tortuous ways of the Punjab police.
He termed the National Investigation Agency a new dragon created and designed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to crush dissenting voices of minority communities. Referring to arrests linked to political killings in the last two years, he said to end the cycle of violence, Indian state needs to find a political resolution to Punjab problem.
“With tears swelling up their eyes, parents and relatives gazed to the skies, asking, “Where are our loved ones and when will we get justice?””
He slammed India’s stubborn attitude for cold-shouldering the outcry of British parliamentarians in the case of continuing detention of British nationals Jagtar Singh Johal and Jimmy Singh. Trashing the police claims that law was followed in recent arrests, Advocate Jaspal Singh Manjpur said in the last few weeks, many arrests have been made on flimsy grounds, many people have been tortured in police custody and many were subjected to harassment and humiliation.
Taking a dig at the state government, party general secretary Paramjit Singh said as if the impunity enjoyed by the police in Punjab under various laws was not enough, the Amarinder government has decided to bring PCOCA in the name of tackling the organized crimes by gangsters”. From the frying pan into the fire.
The president of the student body Sikh Youth of Punjab Paramjit Singh Mand was forthright and harsh in his criticism of the Modi government by saying that “in Modi’s country cows have rights not human beings.”
“The National Investigation Agency is a new dragon created and designed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to crush dissenting voices of minority communities. To end the cycle of violence, Indian needs to find a political resolution in the spirit of conflict resolution and not as a law and order problem.”
Paramjit Singh Mand narrated the case of a young businessman Inder Mohan Singh Uppal, picked up by Ludhiana police on September 11, 1988 allegedly for providing shelter to militant leader, who died in police custody but never received any official acknowledgement or monetary relief from the government.
Touching an emotional chord, he told the audience about how the then Ludhiana SSP, now DGP Punjab, Sumedh Singh Saini mocked and fooled the family regarding the businessman’s whereabouts. He quoted from the Human Rights Asia Watch report which says that it was only after intervention of other police higher ups that after an 18 month ordeal, the family got to know from DIG Patiala, R. S. Gill that “I am sorry, the boy is no more. These people have been making fools of you. He expired on the very first day of his detention”.
By failing to prosecute the members of its security forces responsible for rights abuses, the Indian state has effectively condoned these practices and this was the main challenge for activists and victims.