Monday, November 9, 2015

U.S. Sikh Groups Meet with U.S. State Department on Panjab Crisis

                                                     Washington, DC- 
Voices for Freedom and other human rights groups met with the Department of State and the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom  (USCIRF) to voice the concerns of the American Sikh community regarding the current situation developing in Panjab, India. Also in attendance were Sikh community leaders from around the United States. Memoranda explaining the details of the plight of the Sikh community of India were distributed to each office.

 Last month, in the village of Bagari and in numerous other places in Panjab, Sikh holy scriptures were desecrated. During a peaceful protest by the Sikhs in Panjab against the desecration on October 14, 2015, two Sikhs—Gurjeet Singh and Krishan Avtar Singh—were shot and killed by the Panjab police. The police disrupted the peaceful protest by violating the protesters’ Freedom of Speech and Expression, as well as their Right to Assembly, which are both enshrined in the Indian constitution.

                                      Timeline of the current Crisis in Panjab
 On October 12, 2015, peaceful protests began protesting in Panjab after more than one hundred pages from the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the eternal Sikh guru, were torn and scattered around the village of Bargari in Panjab.

In response to the lack of police action in this case,Sikh protesters gathered and began a peaceful sit-in, reciting prayers, or meditating, in nearby Kotkapura. On October 14, 2015, Panjab Police reportedly sanctioned the use of teargas, water cannons, and brute force against this group of protesters. Two protesters were shot and killed by the police, sparking outrage among state residents as well as the international community. 

The Sikh community continues to wait for details to emerge regarding this incident and what action will be taken to investigate the killings of two unarmed protesters.

 With Thanks :Sikhs Helping Sikhs

No comments: