PRESS RELEASE | | January 6, 2019 | US |
The American Sikh Council (ASC) is appalled at the threatening nature by which human rights activist Jagtar Singh Johal (aka Jaggi) a British born citizen who happens to be a Sikh has been targeted by the Indian government for continued illegal detention under the pretext of arresting a suspected terrorist. It has been over 14 months with no end in sight!
Laws in India are very malleable and are used selectively depending on the religion, caste and then class of the person being targeted to be taught a lesson. Yes – a lesson! The application of the ‘law’ for all minorities of different faiths (Sikh, Muslim, Christian, etc) and/or ethnicities, especially those belonging to the lowest caste order among the Hindus, namely Shudras and especially the outcastes which consist of Dalits, Tribals and ‘Other Backward Classes’ (OBC) is very different than how the law is applied to the three upper caste Hindu groups, namely the Brahmins, Khatris and Vashiyas.
Jagar Singh Johal is being made an example by the Indian Hindutva forces to show the Sikh diaspora that they are not safe anywhere if they speak up for ‘human rights’ or ‘Sikh rights’ and will be persecuted and prosecuted for standing up for basic human dignity and liberty.
Adding to all this, the arcane laws of India can easily be used to obfuscate the target and everyone else. The central government enacted draconian laws to silence and snuff out legitimate dissent by the minorities, particularly targeting the Sikhs of Punjab, the Muslims of Kashmir, and several states in the North-East part of India starting in the 1980. There are so many comprehensive laws enacted, all in the name of national security as it is hard to keep track of them all!
Some of them are; Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) (1985–95), Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (POTA), National Security Act (NSA), Special Public Protection Act (SPPA), Armed Forces (Special Powers) act 1958 (AFSPA), etc. Under some of these special laws, targets can be kept in incommunicado for up to three years. During this long time of illegal incarceration, most targets are brutally tortured, family members targeted separately till the target makes a false confession under duress and/or done away with permanently if required.
If Jagtar Singh Johal was ‘white – Christian’ the likelihood of action taken by the British government would be very different than their current lackadaisical attitude in his case and not to overlook the very cozy economic ties with India which Britain cannot afford to have disrupted.
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India must and will continue to beat on the ominous drum of ‘Khalistan’ till all reverberations and vestiges of self-determination by Sikhs are completely crushed and removed, because that is the way of the Hindutva juggernaut which does not acknowledge any constitutionally legal dissent, legitimate long-standing socio-economic grievances, especially by minorities like the Sikhs who have been hounded for generations because their ‘universal humanistic’ ideology is contradictory to the belief system of the Brahminical Hindu leaders at the helm in India.
According to Amnesty International as reported by Al Jazeera, “Three decades after the U.N. Convention against Torture imposed measures to eradicate the practice, torture still happens in 141 countries — many of which are signatories to that convention.” Medieval style torture is still used commonly in India, which includes electric shocks, mock executions, water torture, rape and sexual violence, crushing body parts, boiling, roasting and the pulling of teeth. With this level of cruelty any kind of confession can be extracted from anyone. India of course is not a signatory to this UN Convention against Torture, which is not surprising!
With the judiciary a slave of the legislature most of the time, corruption running rampant, cronyism the norm, with the new wave of Hindutva peer pressure to conform, so rare is the judge who can honestly say that he/she is completely unbiased to perform their duties and safe from the piercing eyes of the Hinduvta forces. In this kind of vitiated atmosphere even ‘God’ cannot get justice!
Jagtar Singh continues to get the judicial run around – Indian style! The judiciary for the most part is thoroughly corrupt and any semblance of justice can drag on for 15 years to culminate. Further, there is no system of a ‘jury’ rather a single judge decides the fate of the alleged suspect. With India being #81 on the global corruption scale out of 180, its little wonder the much touted democracy is more of a demon-cracy!
Mr. Johal’s crimes according to the Indian authorities reportedly include, ‘running a magazine’ in the UK of atrocities during the 1984 Sikh Genocide and ‘influencing the youth through social media’.
Mr.Johal the alleged owner of the www.neverforget84.com has a fairly comprehensive website outlining all the serious human rights abuses meted out to hundreds of thousands of Sikhs in Punjab and elsewhere. There is absolutely nothing on the website that can be construed as subversive or influencing anyone in any negative manner. There are many websites in the diaspora focused on the ‘Sustained Sikh Genocide 1984 -1998’ detailing the atrocities perpetrated by the Indian Government on the Sikh collective.
Conflating genuine concerns about these flagrant human right violations with alleged terrorism combined with a global disinformation campaign is something the Indian regime specializes in regularly, in order to brow beat the Sikhs into submission.
The Indian government and its leaders love ‘mainstreaming’ all and any disruptive minorities, so that they fall in line with ideology fascist Hindutva. This type of behavior by a government will only further alienate the common citizen, especially religious minorities rather than unifying people, but they do not seem to care!
The Indian Government must release Mr. Jagtar Singh immediately and the police officials, politicians and anyone else involved be taken to task for devising this degenerate plot against an innocent British-Sikh citizen.
According to Jaspal Singh Manjhpur, the lawyer representing Jagtar Singh, the Indian police have subjected him to third degree torture while in illegal custody. There is no merit and the Indian authorities have no real evidence in their 1,000 page concocted dossier, except a web of lies.
Attorney Manjhpur further stated, “The latest twist is India’s National investigation Agency (NIA) worried about the lack of evidence and to delay matters further has appealed to the Supreme Court to transfer many of the cases to Delhi.”
According to Mark McLaughlin of the Times newspaper January 5, 2018, “Gareth Peirce (a well-known human rights attorney) claims that the British authorities are secretly colluding with India’s counterterrorism agency in the investigation into Jagtar Singh Johal, a Scottish Sikh.”
Both lawyers also agreed the raids by anti-terror police in the UK on the family homes of five British-Sikh activists in the UK were conducted to appease the Indian authorities. The Indian establishment has become desperate to find anything to try and implicate Jagtar Singh and exert further pressure on him. The disclosure of personal details and photographs of the British-Sikh activists in Indian newspapers has uncovered further blunders by the British police for which there will be consequences.
No matter what, the Hindutva government of India will never let the Sikhs be at peace, unless and until they have been cowed down, ‘mainstreamed’ and brought to heel, underneath and at the bottom of the diabolical Brahminical Hindu caste system. According to Article 25(2)(b) in The Constitution Of India 1949, Explanation II, “In sub clause (b) of clause reference to Hindus shall be construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jaina or Buddhist religion, and the reference to Hindu religious institutions shall be construed accordingly.” No wonder the Hindu government of India relentlessly continues to meddle in the internal affairs and refuses to acknowledge the ‘Sikh Faith’ as independent and distinct from Brahminical Hinduism.
Sikhs in the diaspora are keenly aware that weekly intelligence reports are generated on every gurdwara in the US, Canada, Australia, UK, Germany and other countries with large populations of Sikhs. Sikhs are tired of the incessant meddling by the Indian intelligence in the internal affairs of the Sikh Faith.
The American Sikh Council (ASC) reiterates its call to all gurdwaras across the diaspora to absolutely not allow any Indian government official(s) to speak from their platforms.
The American Sikh Council is the umbrella organization representative of Sikhs in the United States. It is an elected body of Sikh Gurdwaras and institutions. Currently 74 Gurdwaras and other Sikh institutions across the nation are members of ASC. The major governing purpose of the organization is to represent the collective view of Sikhs in the United States. ASC works to promote Sikh interests at the national and international level focusing on issues of advocacy, education, and well-being of humankind.
Jaggi’s plight makes front page news at The Times Scotland (Asia Samachar, 5 Jan 2018)
Jagtar Singh Johal: Mastermind of killings or Punjab government’s NRI scapegoat? (Asia Samachar, 21 Nov 2017)
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