India

Sikhs not terrorists, rectify your error, Dal Khalsa tells GoI

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Srinagar: Taking at dig at Indian government for terming the nine Sikhs associated with the Khalistan struggle as “terrorists”, the Dal Khalsa and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) on Saturday asked the Union home ministry to rectify its error.

In a press briefing held in Patiala, Dal Khalsa president HS Cheema and SAD (A) general secretary Mohinderpal Singh called the government’s move ‘an attempt to paint the image of Sikh Nation worldwide with terrorism brush, which is totally unacceptable and intolerable’.

Dal Khalsa general secretary Paramjit Singh Tanda, SYP president Paramjit Singh Mand and SAD (A) leader Harbhajan Singh Kashmiri were also present at the event.

“Continuing with its anti-minority policies and mindset, the Union Govt under Narendra Modi has designated nine sikhs associated with Khalistan movement as ‘terrorist’ under amended draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967,” a Delhi based newspaper Times of India quoted Cheema as saying.

“We don’t see any justification or logic behind Govt’s provocative and illegal move. The timing of New Delhi’s move to target Khalistani Sikhs has raised eyebrows. The move looks like Modi Govt’s smokescreen to hide its failure to address disputes with all neighboring countries and to face the Chinese aggression” Cheema added.

According to the organization, there are presently 13 persons figured in this list- four of whom are Muslims and nine are Sikhs.

“They took SGPC and Akali MPs to task for ‘not raising their voices and succumbing to BJP’s anti-Sikh tactics’,” the organisational head said during the press conference.

“We stand by the goal of Khalistan through democratic means and are of the opinion that referendum or plebiscite is the only peaceful method to resolve conflicts. Being a main indigenous faces of the political movement for a sovereign Punjab or Khalistan, we have presented the Sikh case for referendum for Punjab under the aegis of United Nations at national and international fora a number of times,” the news paper quoted the members as saying while making their opinion clear.

They also made it clear that they had no alignment with the Sikhs for Justice but they ‘stand by the democratic rights of all to peacefully propagate their mission’.

“There are only two kinds of referendums which can deliver results. One is UN sponsored and the other is conducted by an occupied country. In the SFJ case, both are not involved. In July 2018, we sought from the organizers of the SFJ to clear all vagueness and ambiguity in their 2020 referendum proposal but got no response,” they added.

Condemning the state police for “harassing” Sikh youth under the ‘guise of tackling the referendum 2020 campaign’ they said, “the youth are being called to police stations, their pictures are being clicked, forms filled only to instil fear in their minds, which is totally undemocratic and illegal.

They asked the Chief Minister Captain Amrinder Singh to intervene and direct the police to stop intimidating the youth.

 

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