August 23, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Ontario, Canada (August 23, 2013): It is learnt that Sikh diaspora organizations of Canada like the Canadian Sikh Coalition (CSC) and Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) are planning to chase and target Punjab cops for their role in torture of Canadian citizens in Punjab. As per information CSC and SFJ are planning to prepare a case, which will be presented to the Canadian government, declaring Punjab police force as violator of human rights so as to deny its officers visas to that country.
According to a news reported by Times of India (TOI): ‘[t]his follows CSC and SFJ threat to file a criminal case against Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal, who also heads the home department, for torture of Canada’s Sikh citizens by Punjab police officials.
“We are preparing a case to be presented to the Canadian government to declare Punjab police as violators of human rights and see that their officers are not granted visas to the country,” said SFJ legal adviser Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on August 22, 2013, adding that individual senior officers will also be brought to book for torture of Canadian citizens in Punjab.
“We will follow international law and the UN Hague convention to make the Badals and the state police force accountable,” he reportedly added.
About individual officers, who would be followed by the rights groups, SFJ legal adviser said, “Beginning with Punjab DGP Sumedh Saini, we will also follow other senior officers involved in torture or extra-judicial elimination of Canadian citizens in the state.”
Sukhbir Badal planned to visit Canada in the third week of September. SFJ and CSC, who reportedly represent over 50 gurdwaras and societies, alleged that as deputy CM and home minister, he commanded a police force that had committed, ordered, incited and abetted extra-judicial killings of several Canadians in India. They also said that they would seek prosecution and arrest of Sukhbir during his visit to Canada under the country’s criminal code, which provided that “every official, or every person acting at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of an official, who inflicts torture on any other person is guilty of an indictable offence”.
Both these organizations also alleged that in the past several Canadian Sikhs were abducted, tortured and killed by the Indian security forces for actively campaigning for Sikh rights.
After this announcement by the rights groups, Union ministry of external affairs had advised the Punjab deputy CM to remain careful about his security. Sources said that more than security concerns, apprehension of embarrassment, in case a criminal case was filed against Sukhbir Badal in Canada and likely demonstrations by Sikh activists, could have led to the decision of the Punjab government to cancel his trip.
The human rights groups had planned that families of Canadian Sikhs killed by security forces and surviving victims of torture in Punjab would file criminal complaints with the Justices of Peace in Ontario and British Columbia for issuance of arrest warrants against Sukhbir Badal while on Canada visit.