April 10, 2011 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh, PUNJAB (April 10, 2011): Punjab Police has registered F.I.R No. 26 (dated April 06, 2011) at police station SAS Nagar, Phase 8 regarding an incident (dated: March 28, 2011), in which Dastar (turban) of a Sikh was deliberately removed by SHO Kulbhushan Sharma, at the instance of his senior S.P. (D) Pritam Singh. Both accused police officers are charged with blasphemy (Section 295A of Indian Penal Code, 1860), and the matter has been referred to P. S. Gill, I.G. (Patiala range). I.G. is to complete investigations and submit the report with in three months.
Thirteen seconds video of incident over YouTube had sparked a strong wake of criticism against Punjab police and Punjab Government.
This video clearly shows that a Sikh (Jagjit Singh) was apprehended by a police officer (Pritam Singh), who while handing him over to other police officer (Kulbhushan Sharma) says “Pagg lah lai” (remove his turban) and turban was removed from the head of Jagjit Singh in a disgraceful manner.
The FIR on the other hand claims that Jagjeet Singh in his statement, made before police, said that “nothing was uttered by the concerned police officers against any religion”. While commenting on this point Advocate Jaspal Singh Manjhpur clarified that the act committed by culprits was per se blasphemous.
“Words accompanying the acts may be helpful to explain the intentions of the wrongdoer but if the facts of case so warrant the intention may be inferred from the manner in which an act is committed even in the absence of accompanying words” he added.
Moreover, the words “remove his turban”, as uttered by senior officer (Pritam Singh) and immediate removal of turban by SHO (Kulbhusan Sharma) are clear enough to warrant their blasphemous intentions, he added.
“Facts of the case show that offence u/s 355 (IPC) is also committed besides offence u/s 295A. Section 355 punishes intentional use criminal force to disrespect a person. But police has not included this section in the FIR” he informed.
On the other hand, in their statements, both police officers deny the facts shown in the video. They claim that YouTube video is an exaggerated version. “Someone has exaggerated and “wrongfully presented” the things over U-TUBE”, claimed both police officers in their statements.
Pritam Singh (SPD) now claimed in the statement that he had ordered not to remove the turban.
Similarly, Kulbhushan Sharma claimed that the turban had just fallen from the head of Jagjit Singh, and he caught it to avoid disrespect of turban.
Sandeep Singh Canadian, a senior leader of Youth Dal (Panch Pardhnai) has accused both officers for making false statements.
“Video footage (See footage below) clearly shows their misdeeds” said Sandeep Singh.
In his statement human rights activist and senior advocate, Navkiran Singh, has slammed Sikh leadership, including Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) and Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC), for its’ failure to pursue the matter seriously.
“Whenever there is an issue of threat to turban any where in the world (outside India and Punjab) the Sikh leadership, including Akal Takhat and SGPC and DSGMC cry hoarse on the issue. Now when the Punjab police officers have shown disrespect to turban and in full public view have taken off the turban of Jagjit Singh and have insulted the Sikh religion why is the Sikh political & religious leadership silent.” he asked.
He further inserted that “Challenge to turban in France and Italy and any part of the world is taken as a challenge to identity of the Sikhs”.
“Jagjit Singh has mellowed his insult by making a soft statement. However removing the turban of a Sikh in such a disgraceful manner is not an insult in person but also of the Sikh people” he added.
Watch related video footage
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Related Topics: Dastar Issue, Human Rights, Mohali Incident, Punjab Police, Sikhism