Chandigarh — Nine Sikh organizations on Tuesday released a 27point charter of demands which, they said, should form the ‘‘basic preconditions” for any settlement with the Government.
The demands had been listed ‘‘in view of the apparent haste and sinister designs with which the Government and its agents within the path are trying to reach a settlement,”’ the signatories to the charter said.
Emphasizing that freedom was the “‘birth right of the Khalsa’’ the charter said the Sikhs did not need to learn patriotism from those who “sold away the interests of the country in 1947 for personal benefits and self-aggrandizement.”’
The charter described the Anandpur Sahib Resolution as the ‘‘sine qua non’”’ of the Sikh demands which must be accepted in Toto without any reservation by the Government.’”” The Union Government must agree to the devolution of power and scrap the Sarkaria Commission.
Deposits in banks in Punjab should not be allowed for investment outside the state. After the traumatic experience of the ‘Khalsa panth’’ in 1984, it was obvious that the long term and permanent guarantee for security and honor of the Sikhs “‘lies only in the fulfillment of the assurances and pledges given to them on the eve of the partition.”” The Government must guarantee noninterference in the internal matters of the Sikh religion.
The charter said the judicial probe into the October November riots would not be acceptable unless those responsible for the reign of terror’’ were arrested and charges framed against them on the basis of the three inquiry reports on these riots prepared by impartial bodies. A tribunal with equal participation of Sikh judges should probe the riots. It demanded compensation for those killed in the Operation Bluestar and the riots. A total penalty of Rs 3,500 corer must be paid by the Government.
The charter demanded an inquiry commission with equal participation of Sikh judges to probe the Operation Blue star. The Government must furnish a complete list of those killed in the Army action. A commission must also go into the destruction of the Sikh reference library during the operation.
The charter is signed by representatives of the All India Sikh Students Federation, Democratic Sikh Federation, Council of Sikh Revolutionary Associations, Dashmesh Regiment, Dashmesh Khalsa, Sikh National Intellectual Forum, Federation of Sikh Revolutionary Associations, Akal Federation and the Council for the Rehabilitation of riot victims.
According to the charter, the Sikhs should be given a minimum of 40 percent enlistment in the defense service. The soldiers charge sheeted or imprisoned in the wake of the Operation Blue star must be released and reinstated. All government awards given to defense personnel for their role in the operation should be rescinded. At least 35 percent of police and Para military forces in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi should consist of Sikhs. The Centre should not interfere in the maintenance of law and order in Punjab.
The old Kharar tehsil, including Chandigarh and Kalka should be transferred to Punjab. All historical lands belonging to Punjab with the 1941 census as a base line, including Kangra and Kulu in Himachal Pradesh and areas in Haryana up to Karnal and Sirsa, should also be merged with Punjab. The river water dispute should be settled in accordance with the principles of riparian law by the Supreme Court.
Article extracted from this publication >> May 17, 1985