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SIKH BURNS SELF TO DEATH TO PROTEST POLICE BRUTALITY IN INDIA -- (BY BHUPENDRA PANDEY

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    SIKH BURNS SELF TO DEATH TO PROTEST POLICE BRUTALITY IN INDIA -- (BY BHUPENDRA PANDEY

    HON. JOHN T. DOOLITTLE


    in the House of Representatives


    WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2000


    •Mr. DOOLITTLE. Mr. Speaker, I was distressed to hear that Mandeep Pal Singh Sodhi, a 27-year-old Sikh man, burned himself to death in front of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly building. His self-immolation was reported in the Hindustan Times on January 11. He was protesting police brutality against his family. Mandeep Pal Singh Sodhi's brothers were detained and brutalized by police. Their mother was promised an inquiry, but nothing happened.

    •Recently, the Committee for Coordination on Disappearances in Punjab, led by Hindu human rights activist Ram Narayan Kumar, issued a preliminary report that included the names and addresses of 838 Sikhs who were picked up, tortured, murdered, and secretly disposed of by the police. According to figures compiled by the Punjab State Magistracy and by human rights groups, the Indian government has killed over a quarter of a million Sikhs since 1984.

    •It is not just Sikhs who have suffered this kind of oppression. The Indian government has victimized Christians, Muslims, Dalits, and others. Groups associated with the ruling BJP have burned down Christian churches and prayer halls. Allies of the government have murdered nuns, priests, and missionaries.

    •The self-immolation of Mandeep Pal Singh Sodhi should serve as a wake-up call to the country that proudly proclaims itself `the world's largest democracy.' It should serve as a call to India to begin living up to the democratic principles that it proclaims. India must stop this police brutality and release its political prisoners. It must hold a free and fair internationally-supervised plebiscite on the issue of independence in Khalistan, Kashmir, Nagaland, and wherever else people within India are struggling for freedom. Until then, the U.S. should stop its aid to India and encourage it to act like the democratic country it claims to be.

    •Mr. Speaker, I would like to submit the Hindustan Times article into the Record.

    [FROM THE HINDUSTAN TIMES, JAN. 11, 2000]


    (BY BHUPENDRA PANDEY)


    Lucknow, January 10--Motorists, pedestrians and policemen watched in shock as a young man, allegedly because of police harassment, immolated himself on the busy road opposite the Vidhan Sabha on Monday afternoon.

    The 27-year-old youth, identified as Mandeep Pal Singh Sodhi, a resident of Krishna Nagar, suffered 70 per cent burns and died on way to hospital.

    Later, the police inspector posted at Krishna Nagar was sent to the police lines for illegally detaining the deceased's brother and harassing his family members. Chief Minister Ram Prakash Gupta has announced a financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh to the dependents of the victim. The District Magistrate of Lucknow has directed the ADM, City, to probe the incident.

    According to eyewitnesses, Mandeep got off a bus near the Royal Hotel intersection and doused himself with kerosene. Then, he went towards the Assembly and set himself on fire and started running. Soon, he was transformed into a ball of fire.

    After he collapsed and lay writhing on the road, three policemen tried feebly to rescue him. Others also joined them, but by then Mandeep had already suffered excessive burns.

    Thereafter, he was taken to the nearby Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Hospital from where he was referred to the KGMC. But he succumbed to burn injuries on the way.

    Initially, policemen were unable to identify the youth but later found a slip of paper tucked in his shoes. According to it, Mandeep ran a small chemists shop outside a private nursing home in Krishna Nagar.

    Meanwhile, Mandeep's mother, Mrs. Manpreet Kaur, has accused the police of forcing her son to commit suicide. `Fed up with police harassment, my son committed suicide,' she said.

    According to her, her husband, Surendra Pal Singh, who died five years ago, ran a flourishing transport business. But it ran into tough times after his death. She said that her tale of woes began a year ago when the SO of Sarojini Nagar raided her house and detained her two sons, Yashpal and Inderpal, without specifying the charges. Later, they were booked in a case of a motorcycle theft. In March last year, the two were again booked in a case of another motorcycle theft and jailed. The two brothers were also booked under the Gangster Act.

    Mrs. Kaur said that she had earlier met then Chief Minister Kalyan Singh and also the Circle Officer of Sarojini Nagar. She had been assured of an inquiry into the matter. But nothing happened. In fact, Yashpal was picked again on Saturday night in connection with a recent case of motorcycle theft in Krishna Nagar.

    Today, Mrs. Kaur decided to complain to the District Magistrate and despite Mandeep's request to her to stay at home, she left for the DM's office. Soon after Mandeep too boarded a bus for the Vidhan Sabha.

    Mrs. Kaur learnt about her son's immolation in the afternoon when she came home after meeting the DM. Yashpal was released by the police following the DM's intervention.


    ------------------
    You can hate me now...
    But I won't stop now...

    #2
    Good for you 2pak.

    Tell it like it is.

    Comment


      #3
      this case has nothing to with his being a sikh. it is a case of harassment by police. it is sad, condemnable, and should be looked into. no reason to give it 'sikh' color.

      Comment


        #4
        Yes, in fact the whole city of Lucknow were on the streets protesting --- why didn't you write that ? You very conveniently omitted that fact. Since you like to "tell it like it is", you should mentioned all the facts. You didn't have to look at it from a communal angle, but unfortunately for you guys EVERY issue is a communal issue ! It's pathetic !! If the article was about police brutality, then we could have discussed it but you're once again casting doubts about the secular character of our nation. I am surprised how you guys can even post articles like this given your nations appaling record of protecting minority rights. Amazing thing is that these minorities constitute just under 3% of your population, yet there are state sanctioned crimes commited against them.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by BombayKid:
          unfortunately for you guys EVERY issue is a communal issue ! It's pathetic !!
          You guys? haen? Majority of people have not labelled most issues as communal issues.

          The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.

          Comment


            #6
            Here's your clarification Mr. Fraudia -- by "you" guys I meant Mr. Xtreme and mundyaa....I think even you guys must protest if regular news are given a communal color !

            Comment


              #7
              lets see regular news vs. communal news.

              when u hindu retards destroyed babri mosque was that a regular news? when u shot hundreds of sardars in a temple was that a regular news? when they shot ur pm was that a regular news? half a million army in kashmir butchering muslims and raping women is a regular news too i guess and so is this one.

              because this is all regular news for u hindus... its also regular to kidnap ur planes murder hindus and kill ur army personnel everyday.

              Comment


                #8

                mundyaa,

                perhaps all of those were unfortunate incidents of communal violence. but you missed the point BombayKid made - the self-immolation doesnt carry a communal hue.

                plus, no one takes Doolittle seriously, he, along with one more senator, is Pakistan's anti-india lobby, i could paste quotes of Pallone's anti-Pakistan speeches in the senate, wouldnt prove a thing..
                Simple ain't easy.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I was surprised that none of the Indians mentioned that bishop who shot himself in Pakistan. Maybe next time.

                  ------------------
                  You can hate me now...
                  But I won't stop now...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    sUP 2PAK.......Howz the House(da pak houz)..Just thought i might mention the bishop who commited suiced in ur houz...well it evnez out doesnt it man..we got a sikcun* sardar comit suicde..and u got a bishop..now think about it did this sardar commit suicide coz he didnt like his east-side country(inida)......maybe ur bishop doesnt like the west side....

                    Comment


                      #11
                      just what I love. A desi trying to be a nigga.

                      ------------------
                      You can hate me now...
                      But I won't stop now...

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Anant,

                        >>now think about it did this sardar commit suicide coz he didnt like his east-side country(inida)<<

                        Think before you speak. The brutality of police which drives an individual to commit suicide is unacceptable and barbaric. By using Pakistan to rationalize our extremely corrupt and brutal police will get us nowhere. No need to put Sikhs down because Indian police have not learned how to behave like human beings. I know this may not be communal but by putting down Sikhs you are giving it a communal flavor.

                        The majority community 'the Hindus' have responsibility to keep the system and our institutions clean, since it is they who run the country and the system.

                        P.S. Sikhs have given more then their share of sacrifices for the freedom of India and they have as much right (if not more) as you or anybody else to be part of India.


                        [This message has been edited by Rani (edited February 18, 2000).]

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The point is that this is not a 'sikh' issue like, say 'blue star' is sikh issue or arrest of sajjan kumar is sikh issue.

                          this is an issue of atrocity. needs to be looked into. but it is not a communal issue.

                          and anant idiot, what do u mean by someone committing suicide since he doesnt like something. at least read posts and know fact before making senseless remarks.

                          [This message has been edited by ZZ (edited February 18, 2000).]

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by BombayKid:
                            Here's your clarification Mr. Fraudia -- by "you" guys I meant Mr. Xtreme and mundyaa....I think even you guys must protest if regular news are given a communal color !
                            Bombaykid

                            If you see most of my posts they are against stereotyoing and generalizing too much. What typically happens is that some individual's choice of words, personal prejudices and inability to communicate changes any topic's flow.

                            Its hard to be fair and equitable when discussing topics that are of an emotional nature...but its the ability to be fair, equitable and logical that differentiates positive and constructive contributors from the rest.

                            I agree with your point that we all should be on the watch for stereotyping and twisting the words.
                            The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              ZZ,

                              I agree with you but after reading posts from people like anant who trivialize the whole incident and ridicule the Sikh to gain brownie point from Pakistanis, one is compelled to re-think the whole issue. Maybe in this particular case he was harassed day in and day out because he was a Sikh.

                              During Indira's hate Sikh campaign, custom officers in Delhi airport were known to target Sikhs and harass them.

                              A fair comparison of human rights would be to compare India with present day Europe or North America (who are constantly striving to better their record). To compare it with Pakistan and feel smug is extremely foolish and futile.

                              Anant...>>we got a sikcun* sardar comit suicde..and u got a bishop..now think about it did this sardar commit suicide coz he didnt like his east-side country(inida)<<

                              In my opinion the one who is Sick is you. Look inside your house (Hindu house)and your sense of morality and justice before you open your dirty mouth. Not only we have Sikcun Sikh (your words)who commits suicide because he couldn't take meaness and constant harassment from cowardly and mean idiots (like you).




                              [This message has been edited by Rani (edited February 18, 2000).]

                              Comment

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