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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Latest Breaking News from Punjab: Thursday 5th July 2007

Hooda, Badal meet on dera issue

Chandigarh, As the Dera Sacha Sauda issue continues to be on the boil, the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana met here this morning to discuss the law and order situation in this region in this regard.
Sources said Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda called on his Punjab counterpart, Parkash Singh Badal. Though some officers were present, both also talked separately for a while, it is learnt.
The dera issue, involving a large section of the people in Punjab and Haryana, continues to worry both state governments. Hooda and Badal’s meeting was preceded by a meeting of the DGPs of both states yesterday. The chief secretaries of the two states had met a few days ago.
The problem before both states is how to tackle the sensitive issue. On July 11 Sikh organisations will be holding a meeting at Ratia in Fatehabad district. A call for holding the meeting has been given by the Sikh clergy. Ratia is close to the Punjab border. The town was recently in the news because of tension between followers of the dera and Sikh groups opposed to them.
The sources said the two Chief Ministers had decided to extend full cooperation to each other to tackle this issue tactfully. Police arrangements in the border belt of Punjab and Haryana would be scaled up in the days to come to avoid any untoward incident. Already, there is tension in certain villages in Punjab and Haryana because of the dera issue.

SAD(A) leader Bittu denied bail

Fatehgarh Sahib, The court of Additional Sessions Judge here today dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of senior vice-president of the of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) Daljit Singh Bittu. Bittu was booked by the police on May 31 on charges of sedition after he along with some of his associates raised provocative slogans during a protest against Dera Sacha Sauda chief.
Bittu had filed a plea for anticipatory bail in the court of the District and Sessions Judge, who had earlier stayed his arrest. Sources said as the District and Sessions Court Judge was on leave,Bittu's case was taken up for hearing in the court of the Additional Sessions Judge.

SSF alleges misuse of sedition law against Sikhs in Punjab

CHANDIGARH: The Sikh Students Federation(SSF) has alleged gross misuse of law of Sedition (Section 124-A of IPC) against 'Sikhs in Punjab on political considerations.
Parmjeet Singh Gazi, President of SSF has claimed that during the days of militancy there was abuse of laws like TADA at a large scale against Sikhs. He said that now these black laws are practically replaced by Charges of Sedition under Section 124A of IPC (1860). He alleged both SAD-BJP and Congress governments are frequent in framing false charges of sedition against Sikh leaders. He claimed that this process is used like a multi-edged weapon against Sikhs.
He said that one hand Sikhs leaders are put behind the bars and are kept away from public issues, on the other hand continuous charges of sedition are defaming the Sikh Nation and are an attack on our credibility world wide. Giving facts in support of his argument Gazi has that Congress government framed charges of sedition against Bhai Daljit Singh Bittu for speaking in favor of farmers of Barnala district last year; now charges of sedition are framed against him in Fatehgarh Sahib district for peacefully participating in a march. He said since last 4-5 years charges of sedition are registered against Sikhs on 6th June at Sri Amritsar every year.
He said that recently a charge of 7/51 against SAD(Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann has been converted into sedition at Jalandhar. He said that a case of Sedition is registered against Sikhs after success of Khalsa March at Talwandi Sabo on 24 June. Moreover charges of sedition against Sikhs are more frequent in Punjab than other residents of other states. All these are clear-cut instances of misuse of law.
Gazi said that all freedom-lovers, Human rights activists and Social organizations should speak up against this discriminatory trend. He said that Sikhs belonging to legal profession should try all alternatives with in Indian System to prevent this misuse of law and legal process and they should take up the matter at international level as well.

Dera Row

The top brass of Punjab and Haryana Police on Tuesday reviewed the law and order situation in the two states as the Dera Sacha Sauda row persisted with tension palpable in several areas.
N P S Aulakh and Ranjiv Dalal, DGPs of Punjab and Haryana respectively, assisted by senior police officers reviewed the situation this evening, a Haryana police spokesman said. The meeting decided to take stringent measures to foil any attempt by anti-socials to disrupt peace in the two states, he said. Both Haryana and Punjab Police also decided to step up vigil and check all incoming vehicles into their states.
Meanwhile, a delegation of women's wing of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect met Punjab Governor S F Rodrigues and sought his intervention to stop what it said "victimisation" of Dera followers. The delegation submitted a memorandum to the Governor alleging that false cases had been registered against sect's followers allegedly at the behest of the Akali Dal-BJP government in Punjab.
It appealed to the Governor to intervene immediately and stop "victimisation" of Dera followers. On Monday, the Punjab Congress moved the NHRC accusing the state government of atrocities against political rivals and dalits.

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