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Posters on Dera Pardon issue: Police crackdown on Sikh youth activists

October 11, 2015 | By

Amritsar: In order to suppress an ongoing poster campaign calling for boycott of persons holding posts of the Sikh Jatehdars, the Punjab police has launched a crackdown against Sikh youth activists. The Punjab police has reportedly arrested at least two leaders of Sikh Youth of Punjab (SYP) that was spearheading the campaign launched by its parent body- the Dal Khalsa. The campaign was aimed at calling upon the Sikh masses to boycott Sikh Jatehdars for announcing so-called pardon to the dera Sauda Sirsa chief.

SYP representatives told Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) that the Punjab police raided the houses of SYP leaders on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. SYP president Paramjeet Singh Tanda and Amritsar district leader Gagandeep Singh were arrested in these raids.

Sikh youth activists holding placards during the demonstration

Sikh youth activists holding placards during a demonstration at Amritsar [File Photo]

Police has arrested three other persons, including Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwarpal Singh Bittu, in relation to this poster campaign. Advocate Harpal Singh Cheema, who was held by the Amritsar police on Friday along with Kanwarpal Singh but was released later on, told Sikh Siyasat News over phone that designer and printer of the concerned postsers have also been arrested by the police.

“In all five persons are arrested so far by the police and they were sent to Amritsar jail under so-called preventive detention measure”, Advo. Cheema said.

SYP representatives said that the police was conducting raids to arrest other SYP activities who have gone underground to avoid their arrest and suspected harassment.

Various Sikh personalities and even SGPC members belonging to the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) have condemned the police action.

Condemning the arrest of Sikh activists and leaders, Bibi Kiranjot Kaur wrote on her Facebook wall: “First time in Sikh history a “gurmatta” withdrawing/rejecting a Hukamnama is passed. Also in a first, Punjab police is enforcing the “Gurmatta”…why has police arrested those disagreeing with it?”.

While talking to Sikh Siyasat News over phone SGPC executive committee member Sukhdev Singh Bhaur said that everyone had write to express their views and it was wrongful to suppress someone’s views using police force.

Anandpur Sahib SGPC member Principle Surinder Singh also condemned the police actions.

Advocate Harpal Singh Cheema said that the ruling party (SAD – B) was trying to stiffle the voices of concern that are oppose to SAD (Badal)’s ill-deeds.

It may be recalled here that the Sikh Jatehdars’ decision to grant pardon to Dera Sauda Sirsa chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in 2007 blasphemy charges have trigger wider outrage from the Sikh community as the decision is considered to be taken to suit the political interests of the ruling party. There has been massive opposition to Jathedars’ decision and it is being demanded by a large section of the global Sikh community that Jathedars responsible for the decision should leave their positions.

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