July 30, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
London, United Kingdom (July 30, 2013): It is learnt that the Bar Human Rights Committee of England & Wales (UK) is going to host a major public Seminar on the paramount case of Professor Devender Pal Singh Bhullar. The event is to be held at Doughty Street Chambers, central London, on Wednesday 31st July 2013, at 6-8pm, with a combination of human rights lawyers and human rights campaigners as speakers.
As per a media statement sent to Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) by Jagdeesh Singh: “The Professor Bhullar case epitomises the colossal cruelty and superimposing might of the Indian state over the fundamental rights and liberty of individuals”.
“The way Bhullar and his family have been treated by the so-called world’s largest democracy, is a horror story on par with the worst human rights crimes in the world.” says, the 1984 Genocide Coalition.
“Bhullar was an active voice against mass disappearances during the 1984-1995 notorious period of mass genocide and repression inflicted on Panjaab by the Indian state. Like many others, he became a target of Indian police attention”, reads the statement sent by Jagdeesh Singh.
According to Margaret Sekaggya, UN Special Rapporteur to India in 2011, human rights activists in India are “killed, tortured, ill-treated, disappeared, threatened, arbitrarily arrested and detained, falsely charged and under surveillance because of their legitimate work in upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms.” Margaret Sekaggya, UN Special Rapporteur, 2011
The details of the Bhullar case, expose numerous injustices by the Indian police, the Indian judiciary and the Indian Government, combined. According to Amnesty International, the Bhullar conviction “failed to meet international standards for a fair trial…use of the death penalty in India is riddled with systematic flaws.”
Similarly, in open letter to the Indian Government, the Bar Human Rights Committee states: “breaches of due process in Professor Bhullar’s case are fundamental and serious…”.
Retired Indian Supreme Court Justice Katju, has said in an open letter : “Bhullar has been in detention since his arrival in India in January 1995 i.e. over 18 years… Bhullar has already suffered prolonged mental agony and trauma for this long period in death row with a damocles sword hanging over his head.”
India has acted with a characteristic draconian mind-set, and numerous other Sikh cases like this. “Bhullar is being politically and judicially victimised, as a message to the whole Sikh people.” Says the 1984 Genocide Coalition. “The multiple layers of injustice being inflicted on Bhullar, are an acute reminder to Sikhs of their oppressed, persecuted and entirely disempowered state in India, with even the judiciary ignoring them.” 7
Jim Cunningham MP (Coventry South) has led calls for the British Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary to give priority to this case. An Early Day Motion to this effect, has been signed by 40 MPs. 8
The Indian state has been in a state of antagonism and enduring conflict with the Sikh people, since its undemocratic and violent creation in 1947. The Sikhs have consistently rejected the Indian constitution and rejected the central might of the Indian state. The Indian state has resorted to criminalising the Sikhs as ‘terrorists’, ‘extremists’ and ‘separatists’. ; A case of give a dog a bad name, then shoot him. 9
“Bhullar is a victim of India’s vicious war on the Sikhs. When a monstrous state launches a sustained policy to subdue, crush and subjugate a small people like the Sikhs, Kurds, Tamils, Baluch, Kashmiri, Naga: the victim people have no means to defend themselves but their own voices and their resistance. Tragically, the so-called ‘international community’ picks and choose when to intervene. The Sikhs are a forgotten Palestine.”
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