July 9, 2020 11:48:34 am
Punjab Police have questioned Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) member Karnail Singh Panjoli for his Facebook post related to Sikh For Justice (SFJ) at a time when Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh has alleged that the Punjab police was summoning Sikh youths to police stations and profiling them.
“I am a two-time SGPC member and three-time sarpanch of my village Panjoli in Fathegarh Sahib District. Former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal also came to my village for holding Sangat Darshan. However, Punjab police has such a poor network that they kept searching for me in my 20-year-old residence in Sirhind town before finally landing at my house in Panjoli and questioned me over a Facebook post,” said Panjoli.
He further said, “I had written nothing wrong in the post. I had objected to the Indian government declaring Gurpatwant Singh Pannu a terrorist. He hasn’t committed any terror activity. If he wants to hold Referendum peacefully then he should be allowed because it would clear his doubts about Punjab and Sikhs.”
“Sikhs will not accept anyone like Pannu — who is clean-shaven and doesn’t even wear turban — as their leader. But he can’t be declared terrorist for using democratic means to pursue his agenda. It would have worked better if the government of India hadn’t taken notice of Pannu because then very few people would know of him,” he said.
“Not only me, but Sikh youths are being harassed all over Punjab to probe their links with SFJ. I have been getting many such calls from Sikh youths being summoned by police. How can linking or commenting on Facebook be a crime to summon youth to the police station if it is not spreading hate between communities? Worst part is that no one person from the Shiromani Akali Dal even made a phone call to me once after I wrote on Facebook about how police were after me. Party was supposed to stand with the youth but it doesn’t care about the harassment of its own SGPC member,” said Panjoli.
“Police questioned me for an hour at my home but I declined to give anything in writing. They asked me about my post on Sikh for Justice and Pannu. I gave police the same answer that I had already posted on Facebook,” said Panjoli.
Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh has also alleged that police were harassing and profiling Sikh youths without naming Sikh for Justice.
“Sikh youths have been summoned to police stations over tiny matters like sharing a video or making a comment. Punjab Police is profiling Sikh youth,” said Akal Takht Jathedar.
Jathedar had earlier warned Sikh youths to remain careful with their words on social media and not get swayed by those who want to incite them.
“It is surprising that Congress is now opposing the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in other states but is persecuting Sikh youth under the same Act in Punjab. It is surprising that those whose ancestors opposed the black acts of British government before 1947 are now using those black acts,” said Jathedar.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.