Chandigarh/ Punjab (April 6, 2013): Protesting against the ban imposed by Punjab Government on Sadda Haq Punjabi movie the producer and actor Kuljinder Sidhu has termed the ban as shameful. The film was released worldwide on Friday, April 5. However, a day ahead of the release of the film on Thursday (April 4), Punjab government decided to ban the film under pressure from the police and the bureaucracy.
The neighboring state of Haryana and the UT of Chandigarh have also banned the film. Kuljinder Sidhu has termed the ban “shameful” and a “black spot on democracy” and said that they were planning to move the court to revoke the ban on his film.
“It’s a black day in the country’s democracy. It’s unfair that a few bureaucrats watched the film and decided to impose a ban,” Sidhu reportedly said.
“We tried to seek an appointment with Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to impress upon him that the decision was unjustified, but in vain.”, he added.
“When the censor board has approved it, and even the SGPC (Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee) has given a nod, I don’t understand this ban. The CM and deputy CM should have been involved, but this is a decision taken by a few bureaucrats,” added Kuljinder Sidhu.
The Punjabi film is based on the events in the 1980s and 1990s in Punjab.
The film was scheduled to be released on Friday, April 5. The ban on the film came after several senior government officials, including chief secretary of the state watched the film and decided to put a ban.
“The film was banned to maintain communal harmony in the state and it won’t be released in theatres till further orders,” said a statement from the government.
The Punjab government has imposed a ban on the screening of Sadda Haq, a Punjabi film glorifying the Khalistan movement and its leaders, on the eve of its worldwide release scheduled for Friday.
The decision was taken late Thursday night after senior bureaucrats and police officers, led by chief secretary Rakesh Singh, saw the movie.
“This step has been taken to maintain communal harmony in the state,” a spokesperson for the SAD-BJP government said.
The All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) and human rights group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) on Monday released a list of 90 Sikhs who were allegedly murdered during the 1984 riots in Bokaro (Jharkhand), Allahabad and Mirzapur (Uttar Pradesh).
Karnail Singh Peermohammad, AISSF president and SFJ co-coordinator, claimed to have procured addresses of the Sikh victims as well as the FIRs in this regard. The AISSF president alleged that Congress leaders Aziz Amam, a former MLA, and PN Tripathi abetted violence against Sikhs but were yet to be punished.
Peermohammad claimed that in the first week of November 1984, a mob burnt many Sikhs alive at Gurdwara Singh Sabha in the City Centre, Bokaro, besides Bihar Colony, Dhanbad Road, Cadra Cinema and Gujarat Colony. He said the transport area, where many Sikhs used to live, was attacked and houses and factories set afire.
Bokaro was part of Bihar till 2000, when Jharkhand was carved out as a separate state.
He stated that in Allahabad, Swami Karam Singh (65), president of Nirmal Panchayat Akhada, fought against the mob with a rifle but was shot in the head. Peermohammad said the mob also killed a Sikh youth, Allahabad University student Virender Singh.
The federation had earlier made disclosures about the killings of Sikh in Haudh Chilhar (Haryana) and Riyasi (Jammu and Kashmir) in the riots that followed the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
The AISSF president announced that they would hold candlelight peace marches in New Delhi and Jamshedpur (Jharkhand) on December 10 on Human Rights Day. He said the riot victims’ family members would also participate in these marches to pay tributes to the “martyrs” and increase public awareness about the 1984 genocide.
He said the Sikh genocide petition, carrying signatures of 25,000 Sikhs, would be presented to US President Barack Obama on December 15. Peermohammad hoped that Obama would consider the petition seriously and take suitable action.