Sikh rights group opposes Punjab AAP leader Chhotepur’s Canada visit | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Sikh rights group opposes Punjab AAP leader Chhotepur’s Canada visit

After opposing the visits of Congress and BJP leaders, the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a rights group, has now trained its guns on the fledgling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

punjab Updated: Aug 11, 2015 11:27 IST
Gurpreet Singh

After opposing the visits of Congress and BJP leaders, the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a rights group, has now trained its guns on the fledgling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The SFJ has opposed AAP leader Sucha Singh Chhotepur’s visit to North America after he called radical Sikh preacher Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale “Chambal da daku and a Congress agent”.

According to Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the group’s legal adviser, a call has been given to oppose Chhotepur’s proposed visit in view of the controversial remarks he made against radical Sikh preacher Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, who was killed in Operation Bluestar in 1984.

The SFJ announcement follows the visit of Punjab minister for NRI affairs Tota Singh to Toronto last month. Tota Singh, a Shiromani Akali Dal leader, was not allowed to address a public gathering.

This time, the SFJ has decided to lodge a complaint with Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper against all leaders from Punjab, irrespective of their political affiliation, who visit Canada and raise funds only to transfer them to India through hawala (illegal) transactions.


Unwelcome politicians

The SFJ is an advocacy group seeking justice for victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh violence in India. The group was instrumental behind petitions seeking recognition of the 1984 pogrom as “Sikh genocide” and the right to referendum for freedom.

The group had tried to block the visits of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Capt Amarinder Singh in the past for their alleged complicity in human rights violations.

Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat when the violence against Muslims took place in 2002. While Badal was accused of shielding police officers involved in human rights abuse in Punjab, Sonia was accused of being complicit in the anti-Sikh violence of 1984.