Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today condemned Congress chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh for recommending the pardon of four police personnel who abducted the killed an innocent Sikh youth in 1993 to secure out of turn promotions and said the SAD would fight tooth and nail to get this unjust order overturned.
Expressing solidarity with the family of Harjit Singh of Saharan Majra village in Ludhiana who was abducted and killed by the four cops, including three of Uttar Pradesh, the SAD president said the Congress government and Capt Amarinder Singh had committed another atrocity on the Sikh community by granting pardon to the killer cops. “I assure the aggrieved family which fought for 18 years to get justice that its struggle will not go in vain. The SAD will now take up the fight of the family on behalf of the Sikh community and ensure justice is delivered in the case”.
Mr Sukhbir Badal disclosed that a high level SAD delegation would approach union home minister Amit Shah soon and request him to overturn the illegal pardon granted to the four cops. “The pardon, which has been granted only 4.5 years after the cops were awarded life imprisonment following a 18 year investigation and court trail by the CBI, is akin to pouring salt on the wounds of the Sikh community which is still reeling from the atrocities inflicted on the community including the attack on Sri Harmandar Sahib as well as mass murder of Sikhs in 1984”. He said the SAD delegation would request the home minister to order an inquiry into the circumstances which had led to the grant of the illegal pardon to the four cops and fix responsibility for this serious misuse of the power given to the State under Article 161 of the constitution.
The SAD President also demanded CM Capt Amarinder Singh explain to Punjabis why four cops who had killed the youth in a false encounter after adducting him in 1993, had been pardoned surreptitiously without any discussion on any public platform. “The chief minister must explain his motives as well as compulsions to recommend the pardon of the four cops. There does not seem to be any humanitarian reason, which is often used to grant pardon in rarest of rare cases. The cops, who had been awarded life imprisonment, were in prison for only 4.5 years. He said the very nature of the case indicated that the cops deserved the most exemplary punishment. “The case against them was thoroughly examined by the CBI after the Punjab and Haryana high court entrusted the premier investigating agency to probe the death of Harjit following a plea by his father Mohinder Singh. A Special CBI court awarded them life imprisonment. It is baffling and even inhuman that the Congress government wants to go against the laws of justice and bulldoze its way into giving relief to the four cops who were brought to justice after a twenty yearlong investigation and trial. Capt Amarinder Singh must explain the reasons behind his benevolence to the killer cops immediately”, Mr Badal added.
Meanwhile the SAD president said the party had recently taken up pending issues of the Sikh community with the union home ministry and action had already started to resolve them. He said the complaint against Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath with details of witnesses who were ready to testify against him for leading a murderous mob in 1984 had been forwarded to the SIT for action. He said the home ministry had also decided to consider grant of compensation to all 365 Sikhs who were picked up from Sri Darbar Sahib during Operation Blue Star and interred in the Jodhpur jail. Only 40 detainees have been awarded punishment as of now. “The ministry is also actively considering grant of minority status to Sikhs who had been displaced from Jammu and Kashmir during the period of turmoil in the State. It also acted decisively and ensured action against cops who had brutalized a father –son duo in Mukherjee Nagar in Delhi recently”, he added.
Mr Badal said a representation had also been submitted recently to the home ministry for grant of clemency to Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana by commuting his sentence to life imprisonment, formation of a time-bound committee for release of “Bandi Singhs” (Sikh political prisoners) and award of compensation to Sikh “Dharmi Fauji” (who resigned from the forces in protest against Operation Blue Star). “We will follow up on this representation to ensure all pending issues of the Sigh community are resolved at the earliest”, he added.