Pro-Khalistan separatist group ‘Sikhs For Justice’ (SFJ) has filed a complaint in Turkey against Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, alleging torture of activists detained in Punjab for propagation of ‘Referendum 2020’.
The CM is in Turkey on a personal trip. He is scheduled to pay homage at Gallipoli to soldiers from First Patiala infantry regiment (now 15 Punjab) who lost their lives in World War I.
According to Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor of SFJ who is currently in Turkey, the complaint against Captain was filed on October 28 with the Office of Public Prosecutor of Gallipoli. “The complaint against Punjab CM invokes universal jurisdiction of the Turkish law. Article 13 of the Turkish Penal Code provides that ‘Turkish law shall apply to’ the crime of torture, ‘committed in a foreign country whether or not committed by a citizen or non-citizen’,” said Pannun in a statement released Monday.
Pannun said over phone from Turkey that he is currently camping in Gallipoli to pursue the case and that on October 30, SFJ will seek arrest warrant of Capt so that he is restrained from leaving Turkey. Pannun added under the Criminal Procedure Code of Turkey, once a complaint is filed with the office of the Public Prosecutor by the victim or anyone with the knowledge of the crime, the prosecutor has to investigate, collect evidence and prosecute the crime.
“Since June 2018, I have been contacted by the relatives of at least four other Sikh individuals from Punjab India who have been detained and being tortured by the police under the command and control of Captain Amarinder Singh who is presently Chief Minister of Punjab”, Pannun quoted the affiadavit filed by him as saying.
Contacted in Turkey, media advisor to the CM, Raveen Thukral, said the statement by Pannun was known to the government and dismissed it as having no value. The Punjab government has come down hard on the SFJ campaign in the state.
Punjab Police officials have said on previous occasions that the campaign was sponsored by Pakistani’s intelligence agency ISI which has roped in a few disgruntled elements. The SFJ had also held a meeting in support of its campaign in London in August this year which had been spearheaded by wanted Khalistani militant, Paramjit Singh Pamma.