An emergency meeting of human rights lawyers from Punjab and Chandigarh held in Chandigarh on Sunday took a serious view of the registration of cases of sedition against the Sikh leaders who had organised the radical Sarbat Khalsa recently.
Lawyers Navkiran Singh, Rajwinder Singh Bains, Brijinder Singh Sodhi, Tejinder Singh Sudan, Sukhbinder Singh Bawa, Manpreet Singh Chahal and Parminder Singh, in the meeting presided over by Amar Singh Chahal, said there was nothing wrong in holding the congregation, which was their democratic right and was held peacefully. They termed the registration of the cases as “unconstitutional” and “illegal”.
“The arrest of the leaders even under preventive steps, and registration of cases of sedition and waging war against the state was nothing but misuse of law, with the motive of perpetuating the family rule of the Badals,” the lawyers said, adding that they held the state government responsible for bringing the state to a social and economic breakdown.
“It is a tragedy that the same Akali government, which at one time was talking about a federal system of governance in the country, is now invoking false cases of sedition against the citizens of Punjab who are fighting for their fundamental rights,” the lawyers said, condemning the “repressive” actions of the state government.
The lawyers resolved that they would give a legal fight to these acts of the Punjab government by organising lawyers throughout the state. They appealed to the intelligentsia, Sikh leadership and masses to raise their voice against the “injustice being meted out” to Sikhs and to democratically rise against the “repressive” measures of the state government.
They said, “The sacrilege cases during the regime of the so-called Panthic government are unpardonable and the culprits should be brought to book.”
The lawyers demanded that the Kotkapura police firing incident should be handed over to the CBI or got inquired by a sitting high court judge so that guilty police officials were identified and prosecuted.