OTTAWA, CANADA – The Canadian Defense Minister, Jason Kenney openly criticized the heavy handed crackdown and killing of peaceful protesters by the Punjab Police and Indian State authorities, and demanded that those responsible for the murders of the innocent protesters should be criminally charged for their offences.
Jason Kenney, Canada’s Minister of National Defense and Minister for Multiculturalism shared his concerns on about the human rights violations and the tragic killing of two protesters by police forces that recently occurred in the Northern Indian State of Punjab.
The protesters were peacefully demonstrating against the recent spate of desecrations by unscrupulous elements targeting the Sikh Holy Scriptures (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji) at various Sikh Gurdwaras in Punjab.
The desecrations took place after several copies of the Holy Sikh Scripture of Guru Granth Sahib were stolen from various Gurdwaras, and the miscreants then left posters stating they were planning to desecrate the Holy Scriptures in the near future. The Sikh community immediately requested the State Authorities to investigate this matter with utmost urgency, yet no action was taken by either the State or Central Government on this issue for several months.
Adding insult to injury, last week it was discovered that hundereds of pages from the stolen Holy Guru Granth Sahib copies were ripped apart and thrown in garbage heaps. As news spread about this sacrilege, thousands of Sikhs across Punjab and other states protested at the Government’s inaction to hold the miscreants accountable. Instead, protesters were attacked and beaten viciously by the Police with sticks, tear gas, water cannons, and then shot at with bird-shot and live ammunition. Along with two deaths, hundreds were wounded and thousands were rounded up and arrested in masse by the State authorities.
REMARKS MADE DURING TOWN HALL
Defense Minister Kenney made the remarks during one of his telephone town hall meetings in regards to the tumultuous events and the virtual media blackout in Punjab.