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Punjab

Repeated paroles to convicted rapist Ram Rahim spreading communal disharmony: Harsimrat

PUNJAB NEWS EXPRESS | January 30, 2023 06:39 PM

NEW DELHI: Senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and former Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Monday said repeated paroles to convicted rapist Gurmeet Ram Rahim by the ruling dispensation were spreading communal disharmony in the region.

Harsimra Kaur, while giving her views at the all-party meeting on the eve of the budget session of Parliament, said "there should be one law for all". She said the select manner in which paroles and remissions were being granted to rapists and murderers was disturbing.

"The Sikh community is hurt that while all this is happening, the commitment made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the community on the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev in 2019 to free all Sikh detainees (Bandi Singhs) has not been implemented till now. The community is questioning why a rapist has been given repeated paroles after every few months while Bandi Singhs have been incarcerated for up to 30 years without parole, even after completion of their jail terms.

"An impression has gained ground that the preferential treatment being given to Gurmeet Ram Rahim is to take political advantage in elections."

Harsimrat Kaur said the manner in which Ram Rahim was holding 'satsangs' virtually also indicated to this effect. "This move has the capacity to derail the Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao initiative, besides sending a wrong message in civil society, " the Bathinda MP asserted.

On the issue of the Union government's initiative to seek renegotiation of the Indus Water Treaty, Harsimrat said "all water agreements between Punjab and other states, including Rajasthan and Haryana, should be reviewed in the same manner."

She said this should be done as per the riparian principle under which the state through which a river flowed had an inalienable right over it. The SYL agreement should also be revoked as Punjab had earlier been forced by the then Congress government to hand over its river waters to Haryana.

The MP said this was important as Punjabis did not trust the Aam Aadmi Party government to safeguard their river waters. "AAP convenor and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal is on record to have demanded that Punjab river waters be released to Haryana and Delhi, " she asserted.

She also demanded that the MSP committee formed after the Kisan Andolan had lifted its sit-in protest in opposition to the three farm laws be reconstituted.

She said the Union government had assured that the MSP committee would include prominent farmers and experts, besides Kisan Andolan representatives. She said the present committee was loaded with government representatives and had zero representation of either the Punjab government or the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).

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