April 17, 2020 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: Sikh Intellectuals and Civil Rights activists today expressed their dismay that the government has been tackling a disease related social problem of coronavirus at the level of fighting a ‘war’ by imposing top-down strict curfew showing no compassion to the people already suffering a fear psychosis of the pandemic.
In a joint statement Gurtej Singh IAS, Bibi Paramjit Kaur Khalra, Gurpreet Singh (Global Sikh) Rajvinder Singh Rahi, senior advocate Rajwinder Singh Bains, Jasvinder Singh Rajpura Prof Manjit Singh, Editor Des Punjab Gurbachan Singh, and senior journalists-Jaspal Singh, Karamjit Singh, and Sukhdev Singh Sidhu said: [t]he public’s fear from pandemic rather gets further accentuated when the curfew is being clamped with the use of ‘danda’ meant only for suppressing a revolt or dissidence. We understand that the curfew has been invoked to prevent a social calamity from taking an ugly turn which, undoubtedly, requires a ‘bottom-up’ approach enlisting people’s participation at various levels.
“With the government keeping, mum over the use of undue force by police believing in ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy, has refreshed memories of earlier curfew situation of 1984”, they added.
“It must be noted that better awareness of Punjabis themselves has kept Corona at bay”, added they.
“On the other hand, there is a discerning deficit on the government side as it has not properly utilized the curfew period to augment testing of suspected corona patients and enhancing facilities for medical staff and hospitals”, said Sikh intellectuals.
“We appreciate that police patiently attended to and calmed the agitating migrant labourers assembled in Ludhiana on Wednesday while it did not tackle in the better way the Sunday Nihang Singhs case at Patiala and allowed it to assume a catastrophic proportion”, they added.
“We appeal to Chief Minister Amrinder Singh to pick a leaf from the history when Maharaja Ranjit Singh became “paandi paatshah’ and himself delivered food to the starving as the devastating famine had struck his regime. Like Telangana, the Punjab government should also distribute food grains and financial help to the poor whether or not they have a ration-card or other identity cards”, reads their joint statement.
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Related Topics: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Gurtej Singh IAS, Sirdar Gurtej Singh IAS