California Punjabi NRIs Slam Modi

CHANDIGARH: California-based North American Punjabi association (NAPA) on Friday launched an attack on Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi for displacing Sikh farmers, saying that he should withdraw the special leave petition (SLP) from the Supreme Court against the Gujarat high court order.

Thousands of Punjabi farmers of the Kutch area are fighting a legal battle in the apex court to escape eviction from their lands at the hands of the Gujarat government which has frozen their land holdings by invoking various tenancy and agriculture land acts.

“If Modi does not withdraw the SLP from SC before the hearing date of August 27, 2013, then the affected Sikh farmers of Gujarat will never forgive any politician from Punjab or Gujarat,” said Satnam Chahal, president, NAPA.

He said that the BJP government in Gujarat must amend the Bombay Tenancy and Lands Act, 1948, and delete the sections being imposed on the Sikhs.

“If they give waivers to NRIs to invest in their state, the amendments should be brought to help the Sikh farmers. If this doesnt happen, then both the Akali Dal and BJP state governments should forget about any investment plan from our fraternity,” he warned.

A report by the National Commission for Minorities (NCM), the nation’s minority rights watchdog, has recently said that the Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government had “prima facie” discriminated against the state’s 500-member Sikh community in Kutch by ordering them to sell their land and return to Punjab because they were not Gujaratis, citing the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948.

Chahal said that the Sikh organisations in the US and Canada may boost the demand for disallowing visa to Modi to visit their countries in case he did not change his policy.

“By victimizing and pressurizing thousands of Sikh farmers to part with their lands and leave Gujarat, Modi is only justifying and admitting his credentials of an anti-minority leader. The sikhs would not allow Modi to enter any country in the world,” he said.

Originally Published By TOI by Rohan Dua

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