Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today castigated chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh as well as Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rana KP for turning a blind eye to the sentiments of the Sikh masses by paying homage to former DGP KPS Gill who oversaw gross human rights violations during his stint as chief of the Punjab Police.
In a statement here, the SAD President said it was surprising that both the chief minister and the Speaker had chosen to disregard the voice of the Sikh community and did not drop the former DGP’s name from the obituary references made in the Vidhan Sabha today. He said this deliberate inaction despite a written demand sent to both of them had forced the SAD to walk out in protest when the house took up the issue of reading obituary references today. We will continue to protest any move to honour such anti-Sikh elements”, he added.
Mr Sukhbir Badal said controversial cop Gill’s hands were tainted with the blood of innocents. “Gill’s tenure as DGP of Punjab witnessed gross human rights abuses. Extra judicial killings were the order of the day. Many Sikh youth still remain untraced. Even chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh recently admitted that 21 Sikh youth who had surrendered at his instance had been eliminated. All this happened during Gill’s tenure as DGP. As leader of the House Capt Amarinder should have ensured such a controversial figure was not honoured in any form today”, the SAD president said.
Speaking about Gill’s conviction in a sexual harassment case in which he was accused of outraging the modesty of a senior IAS officer, Mr Badal said the Speaker should have taken due note of this and struck off the former cop’s name from the list of obituary references himself. “The august house cannot pay tributes to a person with such a track record”, he added.
The SAD president also took note of the fact that AAP Punjab president HS Phoolka had refused to express solidarity with the Sikh masses on this issue. “Phoolka likes to style himself as a champion of all Sikh causes. As leader of the opposition it was expected that Phoolka would lead the protest against honouring Gill or at least support the SAD. He did neither. He should explain his stand to the Sikh panth forthwith”.
The SAD president said it would not be fair to the memory of freedom fighters to pay tributes to them alongside that to a human rights violator. He also made it clear that the SAD was only against paying tributes to Gill and had the utmost respect for freedom fighters and all other prominent personalities to whom tributes were paid by the house today.