Ottawa (November 22, 2015): The World Sikh Organization of Canada is deeply concerned by the ongoing arbitrary arrest and detention of Sikhs across Punjab in recent days. Sikhs who attended the Sarbat Khalsa gathering held on November 10 2015 or who were involved in the mass protests against the desecration of Sri Guru Granth Sahib are being arrested by the Punjab Police and detained under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including sedition and apprehension of breach of peace.
The WSO's President Dr. Amritpal Singh Shergill said today, "the arbitrary harassment, arrest and detention of Sikhs in Punjab on the grounds that they attended peaceful protests and rallies is unacceptable. The Punjab Police is routinely arresting Sikhs under section 107/151 of the Indian Penal Code which only requires an ‘apprehension’ of breach of peace at a future date. Raids are taking place across Punjab at the homes of Sikh leaders and activists, their families are being harassed and they are being arbitrarily held for no fault but exercising their right to protest. If India prides itself as being the world's largest democracy, it cannot disregard the basic human rights of its citizens. Those individuals who are being detained simply for engaging in peaceful protest or exercising their right to freedom of speech must be released immediately."
The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) is a non-profit organization with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of the Sikh Diaspora, as well as to promote and advocate for the protection of human rights of all individuals, irrespective of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, and social and economic status.