December 15, 2010 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
It is prime responsibility of the State and its’ authorities to respect and safeguard Human Rights of all, and at the same time, it is also a fact that the State and its’ authorities pose major threat of violation of these rights. At present, in Punjab, systematic and widespread violation of Human Rights is taking place at the hands of State authorities. Rule of Law is being violated and process is law is being misused by state authorities, especially the police and the state has eventually been turned into a Police State. Illegal detentions, enforced disappearances, custodial deaths, misusing process of law to suppress political opponents or those holding dissenting opinions, false charges of sedition and use of other similar tactics are cause of concern for the civil society, as they are resulting in gross abuse of Human Rights. Thus, this gathering of Lawyers, Human Rights activists, students, intellectuals, representatives of various social, religious and political organizations; while strongly criticizing this process, resolve to pressurise the State authorities, through civil awareness campaigns and other democratic means, to end these inhumane practices and restore respect for Human Rights.
Cases framed by the Punjab Police against Sikh leader Daljeet Singh Bittu, Chairman of Shiromani Akali Dal (Panch Pardhani), present a clear instance of misuse of process of law for suppressing political opponents and dissenting political ideologies. In a democratic society no criminal charge should be framed, against a leader, for holding, supporting, furthering and propagating any political ideology for the furtherance of cause of his people, through democratic and peaceful means; for lending a helping hand to the needy by paying school fees of orphans of state-terrorism or for paying counselling fees to the lawyers of under-trials; for organizing memorial gatherings in the memory of those killed in fake encounters or during enforced disappearances or by police and other armed forces of the State or of human rights activists killed by police for voicing for human rights; for meeting the families of victims of state oppression; for organizing religious conferences; for supporting the cause of farmers victimized by forcible land accusations by government for purposes other than common and public purpose; for organizing or helping to organize seminar on social, religious or political issues and for paying advertisement fees to the newspapers for general advertisements regarding political/religious functions. Ironically Daljeet Singh Bittu is charged by Punjab Police under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 for these (“unlawful”?) activities. This gathering strongly believes that he is arrested and detained just for political reasons therefore; this gathering condemns his arrest and detention, and resolve to submit a memorandum to the Governor of Punjab, asking withdrawal of false charges against Daljeet Singh Bittu, and his immediate release.
It is democratic right of the people to disapprove any State practise or action by expression of opinion or by means of peaceful and democratic demonstrations or protests. But the State has limited this right to such an extent that it has lost its’ significance. It is derogatory that Punjab Government has framed new laws, and has amended existing laws, that would seriously curb the freedom of expression of opinion. Moreover the successive Governments of the are following a systematic course to deprive people from holding meaningful protests to seek resolution of their grievances or to disapprove its’ actions. This gathering disapproves this practise and call upon the people to oppose it, as it amounts to the murder of democratic values.
This gathering considers that every person has right to take birth, irrespective of sex values. Any practise aimed at preventing birth of a particular sex is inhumane and must be disapproved.
The State and its’ authorities have categorically failed to prevent the problem of farmer’s suicide and curse of drug trafficking and drug addiction, which is sweeping away two major streams of the society, namely farmers and the youth. The gathering considers that the prime responsibility lies with the State, which must address these problem and find the appropriate solution. The society also needs to take initiatives to prevent female foeticide, farmers’ suicides and drug addiction and trafficking.
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