Dal Khalsa and other Sikh radical groups on Independence Day staged a protest in Ludhiana against the atrocities, political subjugation and denial of rights to Sikhs in the last seven decades.
Hundreds of activists of Dal Khalsa and representatives of various religio-political Sikh bodies held a two hour demonstration at Ludhiana bridge.
Observing Aug 15 as black day, they carried black flags, banners and placards. The demonstrators chanted the slogans ‘Sikhs want Azaadi from India’ and denounced Indian state for crushing the rights of Sikhs, Kashmiris and other oppressed people.
Addressing the gathering, party head Harpal Singh Cheema said, “It has been 70 long years since India got freedom, but nothing has changed. The litany of grouses, grievances and grudges of India against the Sikh people grow with every passing year, in fact with every passing day. The original promises and commitments are long forgotten by the Indian leadership.”
Another leader H S Dhami said the flagrant manner in which desecration and vandalism of Guru Granth Sahib is taking place unabatedly makes them angry.
Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said Sikhs and Kashmiris were not alone in this crisis of identity in India. All the minorities, including the Dalits, are also suffering.
He said the international community has been responding only in situations of armed struggle but maintaining a deafening silence about state violence. “International forums unabashedly ignore the democratic and peaceful struggle of the Sikhs and Kashmiris turn a blind eye to the misery, pain and violation of their human rights,” he said.
Referring to the speech of the President on the eve of Independence Day asking the government to strictly stop the atrocities on minorities and Dalits, AISSF head Karnail Singh Peermohammad said such sermons were nothing but annual lip service of Indian leadership. Ironically, nothing changes on ground, he said.
The groups that participated in the demonstration includes Akhand Kirtani Jatha, Sikh Students Federation and Sikh Youth of Punjab.