‘Sikh Lawyers Convention” summoned by Acting Jathedar, Sri Akal Takht to chalk out ways and means to check the killing of Sikh youths in fake police encounters in Punjab.


Freedom of conscience is the fundamental right and primary urge of every individual. It has been conceded by the top most Philosophers, statesmen and founders of most of the religions. The UNO too concedes this concept. Even the Indian Constitution accepts it.

But unfortunately most of the active politicians of the present age, especially Indians, have refused to accept this concept in practice. Although, as a whole, an Overwhelming majority of the Indian people lack the freedom of Conscience, but the downtrodden and minorities are the worst sufferers in this area.

In Punjab, the present sociopolitical situation is the direct outcome of the authoritarian trends especially within the State setup at the Centre and their discriminatory policies towards the religious minorities. A big section of the Punjab population asserted its right of freedom of conscience demanding state autonomy through the Anandpur Sahib resolution but the ruling coterie at Delhi refused to appreciate its genuine and healthy concept. As the situation developed, it resulted into many complications in the State which are evident for everyone now.

The Punjab Sikh Lawyers Council, a nonparty organization, representing the entire Sikh intelligentsia in the field of law, made its appearance in a frightening atmosphere of midnight knocks, “encounters”, oppression in short State and state based terrorism at its worst when it first organized a State level meeting at Ludhiana on November 23, 1985, which was attended by more than 500 delegates from all over Punjab and Chandigarh.

The aim of Council was to defend and promote the civil liberties, human and constitutional rights of the people and the State of Punjab. The main objective of the lawyers’ body, at that time, was to keep high the public morale and to highlight the need for restoring the civil rights and liberties, which were crushed by the Army invasion, Operation “Blue Star”, mopping up operation and Nov. 1984, Sikh massacre where thousands of innocent Sikhs were humiliated, tortured and killed. The Sikh Lawyers’ Organization is striving to bring together all those who cherish democratic values in all spheres of life irrespective of their political affiliations. It made efforts to guide the public opinion by propagating rational and constructive views on Punjab issues so as to counteract the selfish politicians in their political machinations hand in hand with the crafty and cunning Centre.

In March, 1987, the PSLC submitted a keynote to the Canadian Parliamentary Delegation which was purportedly on a mission of “peace and goodwill” to express sympathy and solidarity with the people of India particularly to this part of the country who have been victims of state terrorism. He note was intended to enlighten the Canadian team about certain neglected aspects of the Punjab problem so that they could see the problem in its true perspective.


Detailing the causes and the deliberate attempt to procrastinate and complicate the problem, the reports say, “It should plainly be admitted that the Sikh community has been alienated from the national mainstream. The situation has vastly changed. From a plain ‘Punjab problem’, the issues have been transformed into massive jumble of crisis and it has become a national problem. Undoubtedly, Delhi is the fountain head of all the trouble in Punjab. a. The RajivLongowal accord was not designed to solve the Punjab problem nor has it done so. The problem, in fact, has been made more complicated.

Cane The accord in its totality has an unprincipled effort aimed at sharing ministerial loaves and fishes while the Centre maintained its assault on the rights to Punjab under the present Constitution. The State was virtually run from Delhi while the Chief Minister and his colleagues acted as puppets.

The dismissal of the Government indicates that marriages of convenience do not last long. The collapse of the Barnala government is the collapse of the Centre’s unprincipled’ policy and its fictitious instruments.

The Sikhs can neither afford to gloat over nor resent the event. It provides them with a fresh reminder of the fate of the unprincipled politics and its instruments meet with.

The Council calls upon the Sikh leaders once again to address themselves to the goals of the Sikh community namely doing everything to preserve and protect the existing rights of Sikhs and Punjab and to endeavor to attain full autonomy for the State. Any compromise on these goals can’ never work in whatever form it is presented to the public. mass It must become clear to the democratic public opinion in the country particularly to members of minority communities and Dalits that what is being done in Punjab by the Congress (I) Centre today is preparatory to the declaration of emergency all over India sooner than Jater. It is now time for them to speak out. Otherwise it will be too late. The current communal riots in Meerut, Delhi and other cities of U.P. and their partisan treatment by the U.P. administration and the government of India fit in with the framework of a neo fascist regime in the offing,

The Council ‘condemns strongly the ghastly murder of innocent citizens of Malliana near Meerut. No amount of the so-called judicial enquiry will absolve the rulers trained in fascism of their responsibility for the crime. National and international public must pay attention to these events.

The recent history of Punjab is replete with instances of many Millianas resulting in thousands of deaths of innocent citizens. The Council undertakes to form subdivision level committees to conduct census of all such deaths. The results of this census will be made public as soon as it is completed.

 Last week on June 6, the Sikh Lawyers once again protested strongly against the killing of Sikh youths in fake encounters by the security forces and after demonstrating with play cards in their hand such as “Down with Ribeirocracy”, “Stop Fake Encounters”, “Restore Rule of Law” etc. The deputationists submitted a memorandum to the Governor, Mr. S.S. Ray at Punjab Raj Bhawan, Chandigarh. The deputationists urged the Governor Mr. Ray to immediately stop the fake police encounters and restore Article 21 of the Constitution; to the people of Punjab will guarantees that no person shall be deprived of his life and personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.

Seeing the negative response of the Governor, lawyers decided to approach the President of India to apprise him of the current state aggression on the Sikhs and Punjab dressed up as keeping of law and order.

It was also decided to start a “Jegal war against fake encounters” and take up the River Water case before the judicial courts.


We, the Sikh Lawyers solemnly affirm that justice to the people of Punjab particularly to the Sikhs can be done only if the democratic norms are observed in letter and spirit and when promises publicly made, constitutionally declared and affirmed duly are not broken in the interest of political expediency. The history of Centre Punjab relations (as detailed in the background to the proclamation) shows that political decisions have been taken like the decisions of the Stock Exchange manipulations  it seems that the Congress regime at the Centre has had its power brokers, just as there are share brokers.

We believe that this market tendency should cease because political decisions should be based on the basic values and issues and not like quotable shares in the market. Let all concerned know that United India should not mean Unified India under a fascist regime working in the name of democracy.

On his own admission the Prime Minister believes that Punjab problem is a national problem and the proper thing for him would be, to sponge off his own deeds and start with a clean state. He can do so by undoing all the wrong done by him or his predecessors knowingly or unknowingly.

On the other hand, we resolve that the Sikh leadership should not hold any talks with the Centre until they honestly and unilaterally restore the rights of the Sikhs and Punjab, and to give effect to that, the following is done:

  1. Repeal of all the ‘black and draconian’ laws and restoration of Rule of Law in Punjab after dismantling the police state;
  2. Release of all detainees lodged in Punjab jails and elsewhere in India, including those in Jodhpur Jail;
  3. Arrest and punishment for those involved in anti-Sikh crimes of November, 1984 and found guilty by the independent public enquiry commissions set up by the PUCL, PUDR and CFD;
  4. A fair census should be conducted to determine the number of dead and missing all over the country as a result of State terrorism. The dependents of the next of kin of the dead should be compensated and rehabilitated at States’ expense;

5, Army deserters and police personnel removed from the service during the past six years should be speedily rehabilitated and compensated.

We further resolve that the Centre, as it is duty bound, should restore the existing provisions of the Constitution and it needs the following to be done suomoto:

  1. Punjab’s legitimate claims to adjoining Punjabi speaking areas including those now in Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan should be spotted and accepted.
  2. The Bhakra and Pong Dam along with other Punjab Projects controlled by the Centre should be handed over to the Punjab.
  3. Punjab’s total right over its river water should be accepted in view of the Entry 17 of List11 of the seventh schedule of the Constitution and the SYL Canal should be dismantled at the earliest.


And the acceptance of the principles of autonomy are matters that should be discussed during the talks with the Centre when the above mentioned matters based on the existing Constitution and rule of law are executed and accepted in total. We call upon all the political parties and other organizations  working in Punjab and elsewhere to rise to the occasion and raise a unanimous voice against the fascist regime, and to start struggle to get autonomy to all the States in the country. Declarant, Sikh Lawyers

“It should plainly be admitted that the Sikh Community has been alienated from the national mainstream. The situation has vastly changed. From a plain ‘Punjab Problem’, the issues have been transformed into massive jumble of crisis and it has become a national problem. Undoubtedly, Delhiis the fountain head of all the trouble in Punjab.”

Article extracted from this publication >>  July 3, 1987