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Wednesday July 17, 2024

US court summons Indian Punjab officials over crackdown on Sikhs, internet ban

By Murtaza Ali Shah
March 30, 2023
Chief of a social organisation, Amritpal Singh (C) along with devotees takes part in a Sikh initiation rite ceremony also known as ‘Amrit Sanskar’ at Akal Takht Sahib in the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, on October 30, 2022. — AFP
Chief of a social organisation, Amritpal Singh (C) along with devotees takes part in a Sikh initiation rite ceremony also known as ‘Amrit Sanskar’ at Akal Takht Sahib in the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, on October 30, 2022. — AFP

LONDON/NEW YORK: A US Federal Court in New York has summoned India Punjab’s chief minister and two other officials after a violent crackdown was launched against Sikhs, including a total ban on the internet in the state.

The New York Federal Court has issued summons on a writ filed by pro-Khalistan Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) at the court against Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann, Punjab governor Banwari Lal Purohit and Gauruv Yadav for arresting thousands of pro-Khalistan Sikhs and placing internet ban in Punjab to blackout the information about the violent crackdown on the pro Khalistan Sikh.

US court summons Indian Punjab officials over crackdown on Sikhs, internet ban

The Federal Court summons issued in the case 23-cv-02578 “SFJ v. Bhagwant Mann, Banwarilal Purohit, and Gauruv Yadav” states that “within 21 days after service of this summons on you (not counting the day you received it) — or 60 days if you are the United States or a United States agency, or an officer or employee of the United States described in Fed. R. Civ. P. 12 (a)(2) or (3) — you must serve on the plaintiff an answer to the attached complaint or a motion under Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure”.

The Sikhs For Justice 27th March complaint filed before the Federal Judge of the Southern District of New York alleges that “this action is brought in the wake of ongoing severe and violent ‘Siege of Punjab’ in India where thousands of Sikh families have been illegally detained, subjected to custodial torture while the whole state of Punjab has been cut and isolated from the rest of the world with shut down of internet to blackout the information about ongoing human rights abuses and to carry on the persecution of the Sikh population with impunity on account of their subscription to socio-religious campaign – ‘Khalsa Vaheer’ – run by the ‘Waris Punjab De’ (WPD) under the leadership of Sikh preacher Amritpal Singh and for their support to the political opinion ‘Khalistan Referendum.”