AS BHAI PAL SINGH LEFT THE COURT, HE MANAGED TO SNATCH A FEW MOMENTS WITH THE GATHERED PRESS REPORTERS AND SAID;
“WHEN I LIVED ABROAD, I USED TO HEAR AND READ THAT THERE WAS INJUSTICE AGAINST THE SIKHS IN PUNJAB, NOW I HAVE WITNESSED IT FOR MYSELF AND ENDURED IT ON MY OWN BODY….”
Please don’t forget the black decade of 1984-1995 when we Sikhs faced these allegations and arrested on fake charges and then killed in fake encounters by Punjab Police which is given a clean chit recently by a court. The govt. doesn’t want to lower the moral of its Police force.
By awarding this sentence to-day the govt. has given a message to Sikhs that its keen on suppressing the Sikh community and it will continue framing Sikhs under UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES(Prevention act). It’s just another but more defined version of TADA act, later it was replaced with POTA which was widely protested when imposed in 1980’s decade. In this act, the authorities are given power to arrest without any question, warrant for not giving any reason but may be on just giving a speech in public or wearing a T-shirt with any objective slogan, writing an article against govt. policies or views etc. mean to say on any minor offence but on will of a Police officer.
The spokesperson of SOPW, UK ( Sikh Organisation For Prisoners Welfare (SOPW)‘s ) said in his statement as …. PAL SINGH, GURMUKH SINGH AND MAKHAN SINGH ~
Today, all three Singh’s, who were convicted on Tuesday, returned to the same Amritsar Sessions Court of Judge Navjot Kaur Sohal, to receive their sentences. Although there was extremely high security around the court with Police and Intelligence agencies out in force, Bhai Pal Singh, a much loved and learned Gursikh, stood out like a lion amongst sheep (see photo).
In a harsh blow to justice, all three men have been given the same sentence of ten years, even though the number of fabricated charges they have been found guilty for, vary from each other. The judgement has been given in a preconceived and blind manner as if the hand of the Punjab Police as well as other Agencies may have played a part.
Pal Singh’s sentence is as follows; seven years under the Arms Act 25/54/59 and a 2,000Rs fine, ten years under the Explosives Act 345/120B and a 7,000Rs fine and ten years under the Unlawful Activities Act and a 10,000Rs fine. This means Pal Singh will have to serve a total of ten years in jail and pay a total of 19,000Rs in court fines.
At this point, we would like to point out, this is the first conviction of any Sikh in Punjab, under the Unlawful Activities Act, which carries a maximum sentence of ten years. It is a very disturbing move, as anyone can fall under this category and the Act can be used indiscriminately by the police and authorities. As Sikhs, we have little faith in receiving any kind of justice in the lower Punjab Courts, therefore, we will take this case further, to the High and if necessary, Supreme Courts, where some of the Judges view the cases with impartiality.
We must not allow the authorities to set a precedent that they can pick up a completely innocent man, frame him in a false case and imprison him for ten years under the Unlawful Activities Act, which is exactly what happened in Amritsar today to three of our Gursikh brothers.
Ajmer Singh Randhawa