Sikh bodies to protest against UAPA across Punjab on August 15

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Amritsar, Aug 3, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)

Terming Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) 1967 as an instrument of oppression in the hands of the establishment, the three Sikh bodies namely Dal Khalsa, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) and United Akali Dal today resolved to protest on August 15 across the state of Punjab.

The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of senior representatives of three bodies. They were of the opinion that to cage the dissent and trampled the rights of dissenting people, the union and state governments were misusing draconian laws across the board, from Kashmir to Punjab to Delhi to central India.

Members of the three Sikh bodies carrying black flags and wearing black masks will hold demonstrations at all district headquarters on the day- India will celebrate its independence day, said Dal Khalsa spokesman Kanwar Pal Singh and Prof Mohinder Pal Singh of SAD (A) at a joint press conference here today.

They listed the issues of their protest that include the indiscriminate use of bullying laws including the UAPA & sedition, labelling of nine Khalistani Sikhs as “terrorists”, and Centre’s anti-farmer ordinances and its refusal to release political prisoners, who have completed their jail term. Moreover, our protest is in continuation of our resolve to fight against injustices and enslavement.

In 2004, amidst public outcry against the misuse of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), Dr Manmohan Singh government repealed it, but majorly amended the UAPA at the same time. After amendments in 2008 and 2012 and 2019 the UAPA was turned into a veiled new avatar of TADA and POTA.

Similarly, the draconian law of sedition, which was introduced in the IPC in 1870 as a tool of colonial domination and terror, is being levelled in independent India at the alarming rate by all successive governments to protect their political authority and stifle dissent.

Kanwar Pal Singh, however, clarified that due to pandemic outbreak, the number of demonstrators would be limited at all districts and physical distancing will be maintained. Responding to a question, he said if the government can hold Independence Day celebrations though curtailed, we too have a right to hold protests. Taking a jibe, he said neither govt officials are coronovirus-free nor we are virus-prone”.

The leaders were of the opinion that there’s a deep design behind Union and Punjab Govt’s move to raise the pitch of 2020 referendum so that it could conveniently crush the rightful aspirations of the Sikh people with the state’s brute might.

They slammed the Union Govt led by Modi-Shah duo for turning the heat on Sikhs after depriving Jammu and Kashmir of its statehood and special status on August 5 last year.

Kanwar Pal Singh said, contrary to Punjab CM’s hue and cry, there’s no threat to peace, brotherhood and harmony in Punjab. He took Captain Amarinder Singh to task for defending the police highhandedness against Sikh youth under the pretext of combating the 2020 referendum campaign.

On Sukhbir Badal’s tirade against misuse of UAPA, Prof Mohinder Pal asked the former deputy CM of Punjab to first explain his own dubious track record of misusing these fascists’ laws and rewarding police officers, who were infamous for their brutalities against the Sikh youth during heydays of militancy in Punjab.

To drive their point home, the leaders accompanied by SYP head Paramjit Singh Mand and Dal Khalsa general secretary Paramjit Singh Tanda said around 47 cases under UAPA against youth were registered during Sukhbir’s ten year regime and equal number of cases has been registered so far in Amarinder’s there year rule.

They slammed the Indian government for not responding to the gesture of Pakistan re-opening Kartarpur corridor after the end of lockdown.


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