Sikh body to protest life term to three Sikh youths

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, February 11

Members of the Darwar-e-Khalsa, a Sikh organisation, have announced to hold demonstrations against the court’s judgment wherein three Sikh youths were awarded life imprisonment for keeping incriminating literature. Representatives of the organisation were speaking during a press conference at the Bathinda Press Club on Monday.

Harjinder Singh Majhi, president of the organisation, said, “In the FIR filed against the three Sikh youths in 2016, Sections 121 and 121-A of IPC were applied, but they cannot be convicted without the permission of the state home minister. The literature recovered from the youths includes pictures of Bhai Randhir Singh who had fought for the nation’s freedom and remained in jail for 15 years during British rule. Reading literature and keeping pictures does not prove that the convicted Sikh youths waged a war against the nation or caused any threat to national security.

“By such decisions, youths of the state would be discouraged from knowing about the history and literature of the state. We have decided to conduct a demonstration on February 14 along the Bathinda-Amritsar highway near the thermal plant in the city and another demonstration on the Phagwara national highway on February 16,” added Majhi.

He further said, “Can reading books pose any danger to society? Freedom of speech and human rights has taken a back seat now. With such judgments people’s faith in judiciary would dilute.”

Notably, a Nawanshahr-based court convicted and sentenced three Sikh youths to life imprisonment for keeping incriminating literature and books. Members of the association termed it a dangerous trend and attack on democratic rights.

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