THE following news about the treatment meted out to a very important person by the head of police in a State of Indian Union may be read with interest by the readers of the World Sikh News. If this is the treatment meted out to a V.V.I.P., what can be said of the ordinary Sikhs living in the villages of Punjab where young men are taken by the police to the border and shot dead as happened near Dera Baba Nanak or where the village Sarpanchs, Headmasters are beaten and badly treated and the girls molested as the CR.P.F. Did in village Brahampura of Amritsar District?

“The Himachal Pradesh Government has ordered an enquiry into the circumstances in which a VVIP staying at Kulu was served with externment orders and asked to leave the State at short notice.

According to informed sources the guest, a sister of the Canadian Prime Minister, was harassed by the Kulu Superintendent of Police. On the plea that she did not have valid travel documents. The incident, which took place recently, was widely reported by the Canadian media,

“It is learnt that the Canadian Prime Minister told Mr. Rajiv Gandhi that his sister wanted to visit the KuluManali area and that she should be extended all possible facilities. Subsequently the Union Home Minister asked the Himachal Pradesh Government to look after the VIP guest.

“The guest stayed at Shyam Ashtam, set up by a Canadian, which is frequented by foreigners. The Kulu S.P., who made enquiries about the lady, found that she did not have proper travel documents in her possession. Without informing the Chief Minister or any high-up, the S.P: ordered the VVIP to leave Himachal Pradesh at once.

“As she was the personal guest of the Prime Minister, neither the External Affairs Ministry nor the Home Ministry had thought it necessary to issue her any document for a visit to Kulu.

“The VVIP was so disgusted with the contact of the Kulu police official that she left the country in despair. On reaching Canada, she informed her brother about the treatment meted out to her by the Government of India.

“The Canadian Government, it is learnt, lodged a strong protest with the External Affairs Ministry through diplomatic channels. This made Mr. Rajiv Gandhi very unhappy.

The External Affairs Ministry and the Home Ministry took a serious note of the incident and wrote to the Himachal Chief Minister, Mr. Virbhadra Singh, about it.

The Chief Minister too was concerned at the affair and has ordered an enquiry. The relations between India and Canada have been cordial all these years, and Official circles are upset over the unfortunate incident that has introduced an element of strain in the relations.

Article extracted from this publication >>  January 23, 1987