December 30, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Jalandhar (December 30, 2013): While political ramifications of the groundswell support for Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa’s fast for the release of Beant Singh case convicts, which forced the SAD(B)-led Punjab government to take a U-turn on the issue, are still being assessed, a section of Punjab Police top brass is wary of the human rights perspective linked to the matter.
“If a human rights issue gets such prominence, forcing even Punjab government to change its position, police officials, accused of rights abuses in the past and some still with similar tendencies, are apprehensive that they could also face the heat in days to come. There is whispering within the police department that some of its police officials could also face adverse publicity if the unified character of human rights movement continues, especially when it has won support from different sections of people, without becoming a communal issue,” revealed official sources.
“A serving inspector general (IG) of police is still enjoying plum posts even as an inquiry ordered against him by the then state DGP six years back for eliminating an innocent youth in the 1990s, instead of a [militant] who was later found alive, is still pending. It reflects the extent of immunity from legal action to the erring cops. Hushing up of allegations levelled by a sub-inspector just six months back that he eliminated 83 people in fake encounters at the behest of his bosses also reflects the immunity,” a police official pointed out.
Senior figures of Punjab government and SAD leaders are facing adverse publicity with human rights violations cases being filed against them in foreign countries. “In the build-up around the rights issues back home, and it gaining popularity, which would have direct bearing on police officials who have been gone beyond their legal or professional boundaries,” remarked a former police official.
“Police officials facing accusations of serious human rights violations have been perpetually enjoying immunity in Punjab even as governments changed. They would never like voice for human rights getting louder. Worst for them is a public movement about human rights, which can blow off the cover of immunity with impunity,” said Gurbachan Singh, general secretary of Punjab Human Rights Organization (PHRO).
Gurbachan [Singh] said the onus to save the rights movement from being hijacked by those in cahoots with government or its agencies was on those who are at the centre of the current build-up. “Those with vested interests in the police department and intelligence setup can use their old contacts in the pro-separatist movement to try and change the character of the current build-up and then to derail it. Former Intelligence Bureau joint director M K Dhar had already exposed such tricks in Punjab,” he remarked.
NOTE: Above news/ content was originally published by Times of India (TOI) under title: Issue of Sikh detainees may turn heat on rights violations by cops; IP Singh, TNN Dec 28, 2013, 06.25AM IST. Here is the source url to find this article on website of Times of India (TOI): http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-12-28/chandigarh/45651496_1_punjab-human-rights-organization-phro-rights-violations
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