India: Warrant issued for police officer who removed turban
17 April 2011, Mohali, Panjab –A bailable warrant of arrest was issued yesterday against the concerned officer of Mohali Phase VIII Police Station for failing to attend court to report on a complaint filed by UNITED SIKHS concerning the removal of a turban of a Sikh youth by two Punjab Police officers last month.
Judicial Magistrate First Class, Jaswinder Singh, said that the warrant is being issued because the officer had failed to attend court yesterday despite receiving the summons to do so. The officer has been summoned, through a bailable warrant in the sum of 5000 Rs and one surety, to attend court on 26th May 20011 and to also file the report on the turban removal incident on that date.
“We are very concerned that the Punjab Police has not taken the incident of the willful removal of a Sikh’s turban seriously. It’s an affront to justice that Punjab Police are prepared to ignore a judicial order. We call upon the Director General of Punjab Police to issue a statement explaining why the concerned police officer did not attend court yesterday and failed to file a report on the incident,” said Mejindarpal Kaur, Legal Director of UNITED SIKHS.
UNITED SIKHS lawyer, Sukhwinder Singh, had filed on 31st March 2011 a criminal complaint with the Mohali Judicial Magistrate First Class about the willful public removal of one Jagjit Singh’s turban by a Punjab Police officer, who said he was acting on the instructions of a police superintendent. Judicial Magistrate First Class, Amanpreet Singh, had ordered the Police to respond with a report on 16th April 2011.
The incident, that has hurt the religious sentiments of the global Sikh Community, took place on March 28, 2011 near the PCA stadium, Mohali, Panjab. A Sikh youth, participating in a peaceful sit-in staged by retrenched rural veterinary pharmacists and employees, was pulled aside by police officials and his Turban was forcibly removed without cause. The police official responsible for the act is a Mohali Phase VIII Station House Officer (SHO), Sub-Inspector Kulbhushan, and he said he acted on orders from Mohali Superintendent of Police (SP)- Pritam Singh to remove the turban of the Sikh individual who had requested that his turban not be touched. A video of the incident may be watched at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONYV8hUKN3Y
You may read our previous press release on the aforementioned incident at http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-31-03-2011-00.html