April 28, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Toronto, Canada (April 28, 2013) : On a call given by Ontario based Sikh organizations several hundred Canadians including Sikhs, Muslims and Christians gathered in front of Indian Consulate, Toronto to voice their support for Professor DevenderPal Singh Bhullar, who has been unjustly sentenced to death in India. The “Justice Rally” participants carried placards demanding Indian Government to abolish death penalty as per UN resolution and suspension of Bhullar’s death sentence.
To show solidarity with Bhullar, the Sikh community and Sikh organizations unanimously passed the resolution and decided to support the global campaign to “Boycott Air India”. The call by “Sikhs For Justice” (SFJ) the human rights advocacy, urges the Sikh community to stop financially supporting a “System of Governance” which kills innocent Sikhs, subjects them to genocidal attacks and completely denies justice. While justifying the “Boycott Air India” campaign rights group stated that the campaign is initiated to put pressure on Indian Government to suspend Bhullar’s death sentence and to raise awareness amongst the international community about the impunity to those who are responsible for 1984 Sikh genocide.
Navneet Kaur, a Canadian citizen and Bhullar’s wife stated that my husband is sure to be executed unless Canada and other foreign governments pressure India to suspend his death sentence. “I am making a desperate appeal to Canadian Prime Minister to step forward to help me save my husband, who is an innocent man,” said Kaur, My husband was falsely accused, forced to confess and has been imprisoned for 18 years for a crime he did not commit.”
As a Canadian citizen’s husband is on death row in India, Lakhwinder Singh Gill of Shiromani Akali Dal Panch Pardhani, the group behind today’s massive “Justice Rally” stated that each Canadian Member Parliament is requested to stand with Ms. Kaur so that her husband can be saved from imminent execution. Being convicted under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities act (TADA), an act which was criticized by the UN and later abolished due to its unconstitutional nature, we demand that elected officials and business community members raise Bhullar’s issue with the Indian counterparts added Gill.
Attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to Sikhs of Justice (SFJ) stated that “As Canadian Sikhs we are united in our opposition to India’s ongoing use of the death penalty despite ongoing international pressure including UN resolution 62-149,”. “Following the Canadian tradition of respect for the sanctity of human life, Canadian Sikhs strongly oppose the use of the death penalty – something still in use in India. Today, hundreds of Canadian Sikhs stood in solidarity to oppose this outdated and barbaric,” added attorney Pannun.
SFJ, the rights group will file a petition that will be presented in the House of Commons demanding Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Canadian Government to leverage Canada’s position in the world – and especially our relationship with India – to speak to his Indian counterpart and ask him to abide by UN Resolution 62-149 and place a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in India.
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