Amritsar, July 27
Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh on Monday urged the Centre and Punjab government to stop arresting “innocent” Sikh youths in Punjab under the anti-terror law UAPA.
“There is a dire need to order an independent judicial inquiry in this regard as poor Dalit youths in Punjab were being targeted,” said Jathedar.
The Jathedar made the statement after meeting a deputation led by Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira, who sought his intervention into the “rampant” arrest of Sikh youths after allegedly implicating them in terror cases.
In a memorandum submitted to the Akal Takht Jathedar, Khaira alleged that Sikh youths, particularly Dalits, were being booked under the “draconian” Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act by the Centre and the Punjab government.
“Through this memorandum, we would like to bring to your notice the atrocities and excesses being perpetrated by the central government and Punjab government against Sikh youths, particularly Dalits under the oppressive UAPA,” alleged Khaira.
Under the UAPA law, more than 16 FIRs have been registered in recent weeks across Punjab while 47 FIRs have been registered in the last three-year tenure of Amarinder Singh government, in which “utterly poor, defenceless and innocent people have been arrested at a large scale”, he alleged.
“We wish to bring to your notice the fact that we have personally conducted spot visits and examined some of the recent cases registered under the UAPA which prove that most of the people arrested under the said law are innocent and have been falsely implicated by the police after declaring them Khalistani modules and terrorists,” said Khaira.
In the memorandum, he gave instances of four cases in which, he claimed innocent people were arrested under the UAPA.
“Therefore, being the head of a glorious institution like Akal Takht Sahib, we urge you to come forward and raise your voice against the injustice and excesses being committed by both the governments,” he said.
Khaira urged the Jathedar to intervene and take up the matter of “gross injustice” being perpetrated on innocents under the UAPA law.
He also requested him to direct the SGPC to appoint a team of legal luminaries to defend the “innocent victims” arrested under the UAPA law.
He also demanded a monthly pension of a minimum of Rs 5,000 for the victims’ families.
Khaira was accompanied by former MP Dharamvir Gandhi, MLAs Jagdev Singh Kamalu, Pirmal Singh Khalsa, Jagtar Singh Jagga, and family members of four “victims”.
Talking to the media later, Jathedar Akal Takht said that victim families met him. — PTI
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