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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Latest News from Punjab as it comes

Sikhs demand withdrawal of cases

PANIPAT: Lashing out at the state government for victimising Sikhs by registering cases against them on flimsy grounds during protests in Haryana, Sikh originations including Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandak Committee (SGPC) and HSGPC, has called a joint meeting on May 25 to discuss the situation, if the cases against Sikhs youths, who protesting in Pundri on Friday, were not withdrawn. Kaithal police had slapped serious charges of attempt to murder under section 307 along with other sections of IPC against 12 youths who were protesting against Dera Sacha Sauda after burning the effigy of its head in Pundri on Friday. SP Navdeep Singh Virk told TOI on Saturday that they have been booked for attacking policemen though no one had lodged any formal complaint in this regard. The youths were part of the crowd, which was reportedly moving towards a Dera in the town. The SGPC and HSGPC has condemned the action taken by Kaithal police and said that registration of cases under section 307 IPC was totally unwarranted. SGPC vice-president Raghujit Singh Virk, who led the delegation which called on the SP in Kaithal on Saturday, said the police chief expressed helplessness in withdrawing the cases during the meeting. The state government was trying to add fuel to an ebbing fire by levelling serious charges against the protesters, which could backfire, the SGPC leader said. The police had also beaten up the youths in custody, he said. Terming the charges against protesters as bid to intimidate the Sikhs. president of HSGPC, Jagdish Singh Jhinda warned the state government of serious consequences. Addressing a press conference in Panipat, he said when when the anger was subsiding, Kaithal police’s action was uncalled for and appeared politically motivated. He would meet the SP on Sunday to request withdrawal of cases and even talked to chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda to press his demand, Jhinda said.

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