October 27, 2021 7:59:36 am
Reacting to the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport authorities sending Darshan Singh Dhaiwal back to the United States after denying him entry to India, five-time Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “intervene personally and effectively to get the injustice vacated immediately”.
Pointing out in a written statement that Dhaliwal was sent back from the IGI airport on October 23-24 night with the authorities saying that this was being done as a punishment for organising langar for agitating farmers at Delhi borders, Badal called it “an affront to the sacred practice of langar started by the great Guru Sahiban”.
Requesting the PM to personally invite Dhaliwal as a “goodwill gesture which will send a great positive signal to NRIs”, Badal also sought “stern action against the erring officials who brought a bad name to the country with their action”.
Badal said Dhaliwal and his family were coming to India to attend a wedding in the family, but were told to choose between supporting the farmers and entering the country. He (Dhaliwal) was specifically asked to stop organising langar for agitating farmers at Delhi borders if he wanted to come to his homeland.
Badal said that organising or sponsoring a sacred socio-religious work such as ‘langar’ has always been regarded as one of the highest and noblest duties for every devout follower of Sikhism. Doing so for the country’s ‘annadata’ (bread winners) is a noble task that needs to be emulated rather than penalised.
He demanded “revocation of three black laws” and said stakeholders be brought “on board before any legislation affecting them”. Badal also demanded setting up a panel with farmers and farm experts to advise the government on agriculture policies and enlarging the list of crops for ensured marketing with MSP.
He added, “For this, I suggest that the government should set up a statutory panel, with equal representation to representatives of farmers, agricultural experts and farm economists for formulation of government policy on farming and farmers.”
Calling the ongoing agitation of farmers a national movement, Badal said there was “nothing wrong or illegal in helping those taking part in this civilised, peaceful, democratic movement”.
In Amaritsar, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Bibi Jagir Kaur condemned the Government of India for allegedly turning back NRI Sikh Darshan Singh Dhaliwal Rakhra from Delhi airport.
Terming the attitude of the Government of India as dictatorial, the SGPC president said, “When he came to India from the United States to attend the wedding of his family member, Darshan Singh Dhaliwal was turned away from the airport without any reason.”
She said, “This is major discrimination against the Sikhs, which cannot be tolerated. Darshan Singh Rakhra has been turned away in connection with the farmers’ movement.”
Kaur said, “If the government did not stop such awkward manoeuvers, it would only lead to worsening of the situation. The government should not harass the people who are sympathetic to the farmers’ movement, but should move towards resolving the issues of protesting farmers.”
Kaur said that Darshan Singh has set up langar in support of farmers for a long time, which is in the principles of Sikh faith and it is not right to view such work of welfare with suspicion.
She said that the SGPC condemns the discrimination against Darshan Singh Dhaliwal by the government and will raise the issue at all levels.
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