Amritsar, March 28 (KMS): Akal Takht jathedar, Giani Harpreet Singh, has issued a 24-hour ultimatum for the release of all supporters of pro-Khalistan leader Amritpal Singh, arrested by the police in the Indian state of Punjab since the launch of its crackdown on March 18.
The jathedar at a meeting in Amritsar decided that if the ultimatum is not honoured, the Akal Takht will launch ‘Khalsa Wahir’ to expose the government’s machinations at the village-level. Amritpal was to start the second leg of his ‘Khalsa Wahir’ from March 19. The jathedar said that during this Wahir apart from propagation of the religion, an anti-drug campaign would also be carried out.
“All the Sikh bodies, including SGPC (Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee) and SAD (Shiromani Akali Dal) will go to people and highlight how the Sikhs are being terrorised and defamed,” SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami said while briefing the media.
The meeting also held the Punjab and the Indian central governments along with a few Indian media houses responsible for creating an atmosphere of hatred against the Sikhs as part of a ‘conspiracy’.
The jathedar has directed SGPC to take legal action against the “forces bent upon defaming Sikhs in India and abroad and we have already set up a panel of lawyers for this”.
The representatives of Sikh bodies issued another ultimatum to restore the 100-odd Sikh channels closed by the Punjab government. They asked all the Sikh bodies to unitedly fight against the alleged suppression of Sikhs.
At the meeting in Akal Takht, the Sikhs raised slogans in favour of Khalistan, in support of Amritpal and against some Indian media houses.
The meeting also agreed to provide free legal support to all those arrested during the ongoing operation against Amritpal. The Sikh bodies also decided to move the high court against the imposition of the draconian law National Security Act against the seven Sikhs.
The Akal Takht Jathedar also urged Sikhs to fly flags of ‘Khalsa Raj’ atop their houses and on their vehicles. KMS—20M
[8:57 PM, 3/28/2023] Raza Sb Kms: US says it’s watching Rahul Gandhi’s case
Washington, March 28 (KMS): A top US official has said that his country is watching Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s case in Indian courts, adding that the US engages with the Indian government on a shared commitment to democratic values, including freedom of expression.
According to Kashmir Media Service, “Respect for the rule of law and judicial independence is a cornerstone of any democracy, and we’re watching Mr Gandhi’s (Rahul Gandhi) case in Indian courts,” the US State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said in a press briefing while responding to a question regarding Rahul Gandhi’s expulsion from the Indian Parliament.
“The US engages with the government of India on our shared commitment to democratic values, including of course freedom of expression in our engagements with our Indian partners,” he added.
“We continue to highlight the importance of democratic principles and the protection of human rights including freedom of expression as a key to strengthening both our democracies,” Vedant Patel said.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was disqualified last Friday as a Member of Lok Sabha (MP) from the date of his conviction in the criminal defamation case over his ‘Modi surname’ remark. Rahul Gandhi was a Member of the Indian Parliament from the seat of Wayanad in Kerala state.
A court in the Surat city of the Indian state of Gujarat on Thursday sentenced Rahul Gandhi to two years imprisonment in a defamation case. Rahul Gandhi made the “how come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname” remark in April 2019, at a Lok Sabha election rally in Kolar city of Karnataka state. The criminal defamation case against Rahul Gandhi was filed by BJP MLA from Surat West Purnesh Modi.