Sikh radicals in US slam Badal with court cummons
The America based 'pro-Khalistan' activists have attempted to target the visiting Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal through a federal civil lawsuit by holding him "guilty" of the torture of Sikhs and "defending notorious" police officers "before the courts." Pawan Sharma reports.Updated: Aug 09, 2012 22:31 IST
The America based 'pro-Khalistan' activists have attempted to target the visiting Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal through a federal civil lawsuit by holding him "guilty" of the torture of Sikhs and "defending notorious" police officers "before the courts."
It was just hours before Badal was scheduled to reach America and meet the families of six victims of shooting incident in Oak Creek Gurdwara in Wisconsin that a district court of Eastern district of Wisconsin issued summons on August 8 to the former on a petition filed by the New York-based human rights group 'Sikhs for Justice.'
While alleging that "well over 10,000 cases of torture and extra judicial killings" have taken place during Badal's 1997-2002 and 2007 till 2012 regime, the petitioners have stated that Badal's regime "is guilty of defending the notorious police officer Sumedh Singh Saini, currently director general of Punjab police, before the courts in complaints of human rights violations."
The petition further states: "In another instance, notorious police officer KPS Gill who has been responsible for numerous cases of tortures and extra judicial killings has been appointed as adviser" to Badal's regime.
Immediately after its "modules" alerted the Punjab police about the summons, the chief secretary Rakesh Singh was alerted. The deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who holds the home portfolio, is also currently in London.
Later in the evening chief secretary Rakesh Singh, principal secretary (home) DS Bains, DGP Sumedh Singh Saini, and additional director general of police HS Dhillon held a meeting to discuss this matter, government sources said.
The government dismissed the radicals' move as "cheap and desperate publicity stunt by thoroughly rejected and marginalised elements owing allegiance to the philosophy of violence, bloodshed and communal hatred preached by Simranjit Singh Mann."
Apart from 'Sikhs for Justice' among others--Jeet Singh, Gurdeep Kaur and Jagtar Singh--who filed this petition are the activists of Shiromani Akali Dal of Simranjit Singh Mann.
In their petition the petitioners have identified themselves as "supporters of separate Sikh State of Khalistan" and activists of SAD Mann group-a political party "demanding creation of separate state of Khalistan."
The petitioners sought summons to Badal also on the ground that "at the time of filing the complaint" the chief minister "is present in the state of Wisconsin" within the jurisdiction of the court.
"…Badal throughout his tenure has also actively shielded, protected and promoted the police officers who were or have been involved in gross human rights violations, extra judicial killings and torture," the petition reads.
The lawsuit against Badal seeks jury trial and the court summons give Badal 21 days to answer the charges.
Badal arrived in Wisconsin on Tuesday on a previously planned visit to attend the wedding of businessman's daughter, before Sunday's attack on worshippers at the Sikh Gurdwara in Oak Creek.
First Published: Aug 09, 2012 22:13 IST