A youith from an Amritsar village, Jaspreet Singh, who was booked under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) by the Punjab Police recently, returned after 16 days in custody late on Monday night. This after Punjab Police told a Samana court that they have found no evidence against the youth during investigation.
According to his parents, Jaspreet had surrendered before police in Amritsar on June 28 after a team came looking for him at home.
Later on June 30, a press statement by the Punjab Police quoted the Punjab DGP as saying that a major bid by Pakistan-backed terrorists to target socio-religious leaders and disturb the communal harmony of the state had been foiled with the arrest of three members of the Khalistan Liberation Front (KLF). Jaspreet was named as among those arrested.
“Our world collapsed after reading news. We knew that we are in big trouble and it will be on us to prove that our son was innocent. During last 16 days, I have spent around Rs 50,000 on Jaspreet’s case,” said Palwinder Singh, father of Jaspreet.
He added that when the police came looking for his son, the family was told that it was a case of teasing a girl over social media.
“These are blessings of Shri Guru Ramdas that my son is back home. He has seen a lot during these 16 days. He has seen police giving third degree torture to his co-accused. He was also thrashed by the police, but he escaped third degree torture, maybe, because he was already not keeping well and eating nothing during the custody. But other co-accused were beaten in front of him. He didn’t know other accused and they too told police that they didn’t know my son,” the father added.
Former Leader of Opposition and MLA from Bholath, Sukhpal Singh Khera, had launched a campaign against this arrest under UAPA. Jaspreet’s father said that Khera’s intervention helped in securing the release of their son.
Talking to The Indian Express, Khera said, “My point is vindicated with release of Jaspreet. I want CM Amarinder Singh to look into every FIR registered under UAPA in Punjab. Most of the accused in these cases have very poor background and they cannot defend themselves in court. Any person booked under UAPA will have to spend years behind bars. Also in most of these FIRs, there has been no occurrence of crime and I personally have observed that most of the accused are innocent. Congress high command has been opposing UAPA Act in the other states but Punjab Police has been extensively using UAPA on young children in state. I urge the CM and the Congress party to look into this matter and end misuse of UAPA in Punjab.”
NIA conducts search at KTF member’s house
A team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted search at the residence of Paramjeet Singh Pamma, a member of the radical Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), on Tuesday morning. The NIA team assiste by the local police carried out the search for around six hours.
The NIA team also gathered information about the bank accounts of Pamma’s parents.
The search was part of a crackdown on the Khalistan sympathisers after the architect of ‘Refrendum 20-20’, Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, had sent pre-recorded audio messages to many people in Punjab.
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