HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

Attacks on US sikhs: NRI panel issues notice to state govt

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, August 13, 2014
First Published: 23:44 IST(13/8/2014) | Last Updated: 08:11 IST(14/8/2014)

Taking suo motu notice of news reports of alleged racist attacks on a Sikh physician and his mother in the US on August 7, the Punjab NRI Commission on Wednesday issued a notice to the state government to take up the matter of racist attacks on Sikhs in the US with the ministry of external affairs for a procedural follow-up with that country on action against the culprits.

"The question arises whether any initiative has been taken by the Punjab government and the Centre to take up this issue with the US government? Similarly, whether the ministry of external affairs and the ministry of overseas Indian affairs (the nodal ministry for dealing with expatriates), has sought any report from the governments concerned, as to what steps have been taken by them to curb such acts?" commission chairman justice Arvind Kumar (retd) stated in his order.

Also, taking note of the commission's earlier notice to the state chief secretary to form a three-member committee last year in a case related to incidents of racist attacks and murders in Manila (Philippines), the commission observed that there had been "no output" from the Punjab government in relation to constitution of the said committee.

Justice Kumar said the formation of such a committee was very relevant to incidents such as those in the US and the Philippines.

The commission passed the order for the state chief secretary to take up this matter at the highest level and seek a report from the departments concerned for the initiation of any such action, as suggested, and immediately raise the issue with the ministry of external affairs and the ministry of overseas Indian affairs for the welfare and safety of Punjabi NRIs abroad.

The case has been listed for November 13, before which the chief secretary has to comply with the commission's orders.

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