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SGPC Offering Free Education to Police Wards is a Slavish Act: Sikh Vichar Manch

April 24, 2020 | By

Chandigarh: The announcement of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) that recognizing “yeoman services” rendered by the Punjab police personnel during coronavirus curfew, their wards would be given free education in various para-medic courses at its Health University is a sheer expression of slavery mentality and ignorance of prevailing reality on the ground, the Sikh Vichar Manch (SVM) said in a written statement issued today.

Notably, the SGPC recently announced that it has decided to impart free education to children of police personnel, media persons and health workers who are engaged in imparting emergency services during coronavirus pandemic.

File Photo used for representational purpose only

The Sikh intellectuals and activists said “it is known to Punjabis that police personnel has been acting lawlessly, beating people with lathis on roads like criminals thereby unleashed a reign of terror during curfew if they were out to suppress a revolt. There is score of instances of police excesses in Punjab with Thuthianwala village incident near Mansa breaking all limits. Taking a benefit of an earlier small incident at the village, police in 30 vehicles raided Dalit houses on April 12 morning, badly beaten men and women. Videos of the incident that went viral showed how the running and shrieking victims were dragged out and beaten blue by the policemen. Police bosses and their ruling political masters have not only condoned such all excesses but also bucked up policemen to use force to drive people like the cattle behind the doors. Otherwise, police on duty should have been briefed to be sympathetic to the people already undergoing the trauma of coronavirus. The authorities should have sought popular participation eliciting local representatives’ support to contain the deadly disease. Only the Police rod ruled Punjab predominantly”.

The statement endorsed by Bibi Paramjit Kaur Khalra, Gurtej Singh IAS,  Advocate Rajwinder Singh Bains, Dr Kuldip Singh Patiala, Gurpreet Singh (Global Sikh Organisation), Jaswinder Singh Rajpura, Bhai Narain Singh, Gurbachan Singh (Editor, Des Punjab), Prof Manjit. Singh and senior journalists- Jaspal Singh Sidhu, Karamjit Singh and Sukhdev Singh Sidhu, further reads:

“By giving the first priority to the police for free education as an act of gratitude, the SGPC has gone to glorify and side with the oppressor when the Sikhism teaches us to stand by the victims. The SGPC should not forget that Dalits and poor Sikhs deserve alone free education at its Guru Ram Dass University of Health Sciences since the money comes to Sikh body’s kitty from donations/offerings by the Sikhs. Ironically, Police and security forces are rather getting more than their due as our ruling politicians’ dependence on the former has increased many folds since the 1980s. Also, the Sikh families have been struggling for justice in vain for decades whose innocent members had been picked up by police and killed in fake encounters. When the government has itself been defending the cases of police excesses pursued in courts by the Sikh victim families, police do not deserve any largesse on behalf of a Sikh religious body”.

“Similarly, a larger section of mainstream media has openly been singing ‘Delhi Durbar tunes’ and projecting Sikhs as “terrorists” since long does not deserve free education for their wards from the SGPC”.

“We would like to remind the SGPC that it should pay salary to its employees not paid for past several months and take care of its fund starved educational institutes”, Sikh intellectuals and activists said.

“We appeal to the SGPC to immediately withdraw its free education offer to police and instead of pleasing the state divert Sikh devotees’ offering to the needy and deserved”, added they.

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