April 15, 2020 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: Sikh intellectuals on Tuesday (April 15) condemned the overreaction of the police on the unfortunate Sunday incident in which a Nihang Singh inflicted injuries on policemen at Patiala Sabzi Mandi.
That incident could have been avoided if the police had taken action as per law instead of provoking them with aggressive moves at the exit gate of the market, they added.
Using that Sunday’s incident, Punjab Police swung into action against all those who happened to express their views on social media countering the ‘official narrative’ built around the Sunday incident to impart some sort of a ‘holy status’ to the police.
“The Sikh intellectuals also condemned the arrest of three Sikh youths – Parampal Singh, Devinder Singh and a media person Bhupinder Singh Sajjan from Hoshiarpur- charging them with writing social media posts which are allegedly ‘inflammatory and incitement to hatred’, the statement reads. “That police action is not only an infringement of ‘freedom of the expression’ but also amounts to spreading hatred and ill-will against the Sikhs making them realize that they are ‘subjects’ not citizens”, it added further.
In a joint statement, Gurtej Singh IAS, Bibi Paramjit Kaur Khalra, senior advocate Rajwinder Singh Bains, Editor Des Punjab Gurbachan Singh, senior journalists Jaspal Singh, Karamjit Singh, and Sukhdev Singh Sidhu said that Police have every right to punish those breaking law as per established legal procedure it should not exaggerate and use the incident to terrorise and demonise the Sikhs. “Unfortunately, the pliant and pussy media outlets are also busy, quoting police, to propagate that the arrested nihangs were ‘receiving foreign funding’ which amounts to indirectly raising an accusing finger on the diaspora Sikhs. When the attacker was identified and arrested thereafter, the police should have desisted from undertaking a disturbing exercise of making a mountain of a molehill”, they added.
The Sikh intellectuals also condemned the police for producing the arrested Nihang Singh in the local Patiala court barefooted with their turbans removed and hairs untied.
They appealed to Punjab Chief Minister Amrinder Singh to restrain police from becoming an ‘absolute authority unto-themselves’ and misusing the pandemic necessitated lockout to suppress and terrorise the people.
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