Sign Petition for Immediate and Unconditional Release of Gurbakash Singh And for the Protection from the Excesses of the Punjab Police in India

| December 8, 2013 | 0 Comments

Gurbakash Singh, 43, who has been on a hunger strike since 14th Nov 2013, remains in custody after the Punjab Police forcefully and unlawfully arrested him at Amb Sahib Gurdwara in Mohali, Panjab, India on 5th Nov 2013

The petition seeks suo moto action from the Central and Panjab State governments, the Panjab State Human Rights Commission, the National Human Rights Commission, the Chief Justice of India and the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana.

The petition calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Gurbakash Singh and for the limitation of the power under section 107 and 151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C.) so that these sections do not apply to peaceful protests such as hunger strikes that highlight an issue in the public interest

Sign our Online Petition Click here

December 8, 2013

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Voices For Freedom launches a petition against Punjab Police’s forceful and unlawful removal of Gurbakash Singh from Amb Sahib Gurdwara (an historical Sikh place of worship in Mohali, Panjab) on 5th Dec 2013. He has been on a hunger strike since 14th Nov 2013 to support the release of Sikh prisoners.

  • Gurbakash Singh was produced before an executive magistrate on 6th December 2013, without legal representation, when he was remanded in custody for a further period of 15 days for purportedly preventing a breach of the peace under section 107 and 151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) 1973.

  • Gurbakash Singh is in custody at Ropar Jail and continues his hunger strike.

  • Punjab Police officers were under the influence of alcohol when they entered the Amb Sahib Gurdwara, which has hurt the religious sentiments of Sikhs, whose religion prohibits the consumption of alcohol.

  • Gurbakash Singh’s forceful and unlawful arrest breached the Indian Supreme Court’s guidelines that the police should follow while detaining or arresting anyone. It also violates Gurbakash Singh’s Fundamental Rights guaranteed to him under the Constitution of India for freedom of speech and expression.

Read and Sign the petition here: Click here

Mohali, Panjab, India: Voices For Freedom has launched today a global online petition against the Punjab Police’s forceful removal of 43 year old Gurbakash Singh from Amb Sahib Gurdwara, where he has been on a hunger strike since 14th Nov 2013 in support of the release of Sikh prisoners. Police officers in plainclothes were under the influence of alcohol when they entered the Gurdwara grounds.

This incident that has hurt the religious sentiments of the global Sikh community is an affront to a community that considers Panjab its homeland and the birthplace of its religion.

The incident in question took place on December 5, 2013 at the Gurudwara Amb Sahib, Mohali, Panjab when Gurbakash Singh, 43, a Sikh political activist was on a hunger strike to support the release of Sikh prisoners.

About 20-30 Punjab Police officers who were in plain clothes used subterfuge in order to arrest and wrongfully confine Gurbakash Singh, by pretending that they had arrived to do prayers and support him in the mission to release Sikh prisoners. After being recognized as police officials, the plain clothed police officers attacked the Sikhs, two of Gurbakash Singh’s supporters were injured.

According to eye-witness, Manjit Kaur, “Gurbakash Singh Ji was bundled by the Police into a vehicle like a ‘sack of potatoes’. If they meant well and were trying to save Gurbakash Singh’s life why did they not wear their Police uniforms instead of disguising themselves as devout Sikhs? Why did come into the Gurdwara grounds under the influence of alcohol?”

According to Amar Singh Chahal, Gurbakash Singh’s advocate, “Punjab police did not inform Gurbakash Singh’s family about his whereabouts. The only time the family was informed was after Gurbakash Singh was given a 15 days judicial remand.”

“The Sikh Community has often been urged by the Indian government to forgive and forget the Nov 1984 massacre of Sikhs and the period of unrest in Panjab, which saw thousands disappear and suffer brutality in the hands of the Punjab Police. This incident by the Punjab Police highlights the continuance of brutality by the Punjab Police, which reopens the wounds of the Sikh community ” said Jaspreet Kaur, Legal Fellow for Voices For Freedom.

Voices For Freedom urges you to read and sign the petition for the immediate and unconditional release of Gurbakash Singh here: Click here to view

Jaspreet Kaur
Legal Fellow
Voices For Freedom
Jaspreet.kaur@voicesforfreeedom.org

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