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Seizure of T-shirts: Sikh bodies criticize police crackdown

December 23, 2011 | By

Amritsar (December 23, 2011): Describing the police crackdown as uncalled and unwarranted, the Sikh organizations today criticized the seizure of T-shirts on which photograph of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale along with Khalistani slogans were imbibed from Ludhiana city.

In a statement, Dal Khalsa’s senior most leader Satnam Singh Paonta Sahib has flayed the police action and theory. He went on to question the police as how could T-shirts that are being sold openly in markets, shops in all cities since many years would suddenly “vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in the state”.

He said calendars, stickers, coffee-mugs, key chains and T-shirts carrying Sant Bhindrawale’s pictures were already in circulation in huge quantity ever since Akal Takht has declared him a ‘great martyr’ in 2003. “For Sikhs, he is a martyr and his portrait has been installed in the Darbar Sahib museum by the SGPC.”

Sikh Students Federation has criticized the police raids for targeting the Sikh Youth for making free expression of their feelings. SSF Vice-President Bhai Makhan Singh Gandhuan said that Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was great Sikh of 20th century, and his image is installed in National Sikh Museum situated in Darbar Sahib Complex at Amritsar. Shiv Sena and the Punjab police would not succeed in their wicked plan to curb the popularity of image of Sant Bhindranwale, he asserted.

Youths in villages and towns of the state can be seen sporting bright yellow T-shirts, emblazoned with huge photos of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. And the paraphernalia is being openly sold in prominent markets in all major cities, claimed the former president of the radical Sikh group.

Dal Khalsa smells some design behind the seizure and registration of a case under 153 IPC as the elections to the state assembly are round the corner. We fail to understand what prompted police to implicate Manwinder Singh Gyaspura, the whistleblower who brought to fore Hondh-Chillar massacre that took place in Haryana, in this case.

Satnam Singh Paunta Sahib of Dal Khalsa asked the Chief Minister of the state to look into the matter and order the cancellation of the FIR as manufacturing or selling T-shirts is not banned. He claimed that even the Supreme Court and High Court had ruled in one of its rulings that demanding Khalistan was no crime as long as the campaign was pursued in a peaceful and democratic manner.

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