Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal is keen to take up the 1994 custodial killing of seven Sikhs in the Piliphit jail with the Uttar Pardesh government directly, while the MPs of his Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) see no hope of justice without intervention from the Centre.
Badal is sure he can get his UP counterpart, Akhilesh Yadav, to step in, while Akali MPs Prem Singh Chandumajra, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, and Balwinder Singh Bhunder, who met Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday, issued a joint statement, later, that “seeking justice from the Samajwadi Party government (in the UP) would be futile”.
Badal wants Akhilesh to punish the members of the jail staff found guilty. “I’ll write to the Uttar Pradesh CM for prompt dispensation of justice to the victims’ families,” Badal said on Wednesday on the sidelines of his sangat darshan (public contract) programme in Muktsar district.
In November 1994, police torture in the Pilibhit jail killed seven Sikh detainees and injured another 21. In 2007, the Mulayam Singh Yadav government of the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh withdrew the inquiry report quietly, following the local court’s dropping charges against 42 jail employees. Akali MPs now want the case moved to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). “That alone will satisfy the needs of justice and punish the guilty,” reads their statement.
‘AAP, CONGRESS DEFAMING STATE’
Replying to a question related to the labelling of Punjab as a state of drug addicts, the CM said the Congress as well as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) were “defaming our state”. “Punjab has won accolades in agriculture. Can drug addicts ever do this miracle?” he asked both rival parties.