April 1, 2011 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
OPEN LETTER TO CHIEF MINISTER OF PUNJAB PARKASH SINGH BADAL
On March 28, 2011 when pharmacists from Punjab exercising their fundamental right gathered in Mohali for a peaceful sit-in to high light their demands. Punjab police first cane charged the gathering in which women were beaten mercilessly. Not satisfied after beating the women, SP Pritam Singh then ordered SHO Kulbhusan to forcibly remove turban of a Sikh youth Jagjit Singh.
(A footage of the incident is available online)
Unfortunately, Mohali is not the first incident when Sikh turban was desecrated and women were beaten during SAD (Badal) rule. In another recent incident, women demanding jobs were mercilessly beaten by none other than your senior party leader Sikander Singh Malooka in the presence of SAD (Badal) Member Parliament Harsimrat Kaur Badal. Desecrating of turban and beating women are severely abhorred in Sikh religion but unfortunately instead of taking action against MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal who claims to be champion of women rights, Sikander Singh Malooka and other SAD workers who took part in beating women, you as SAD head and chief Minister of Punjab added insult to the injury by defending and justifying the beating of women.
(Another Footage referred to in the Letter)
No wonder, Mr. Chief Minister, that today Sikh men and women around the world are being singled out and subjected to attacks because they are being disrespected and crushed under the boots by their own leaders and parties in their homeland Punjab.
While in foreign lands, Sikhs face turban patting in the name of security check up, however, what happened in the state of Punjab, the homeland of Sikhs and Sikhism under the rule of SAD (Badal) is actually an attack on Sikh identity and desecration of Sikh religion. SAD (Badal) has been very vocal in asking Union Government headed by Congress (I) to take up the issue of turban frisking with foreign governments. Now that there is irrefutable evidence of consistent acts of desecrating turbans in Punjab, you as a head of the Punjab Government should act to restore the sanctity of the articles of Sikh faith.
While the perpetrators of Mohali incident must be arrested and prosecuted, the root cause of attack on Sikh identity and religion lies in the fact that Sikhism has been stripped off its separate identity under Article 25 of the Constitution of India. In your own statement of August 14, 2002 you publically admitted that: “I burnt copy of Article 25: Badal”, however, after reaping the political benefits, you have abandoned the issue of segregation of Sikhism from Hinduism. Abandoning this central issue by parties like SAD (Badal) has made Sikh articles of faith an easy target of desecration, home and abroad.
To maintain honor and dignity of Sikh articles of faith and to restore respect of women, we demand:
Punjab Vidhan Sabha should pass a resolution demanding Parliament of India to amend Article 25 to segregate Sikhism from Hinduism.
Arrest and prosecute S.P. Pritam Singh and SHO Kulbhushan for desecrating turban.
Arrest and prosecute the policemen who cane charged women in Mohali.
Pass special legislation from Punjab Vidhan Sabha making special law “Violence Against Women Act” (WAVA) protecting women.
To act on these demands is well within your powers. As Chief Minister of State of Punjab you do not need permission or consent from the Government of India.
Gurpatwant S Pannun (Attorney at Law)
Sikhs For Justice.
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