The opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today accused Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh and assembly Speaker Rana KP Singh of turning a blind eye to the sentiments of Sikhs by paying tributes to former state police chief KPS Gill in the House.
"It was surprising that both the chief minister and the speaker had chosen to disregard the voice of the Sikh community and did not drop the name of former DGP from the obituary references made in the Vidhan Sabha today," SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal told reporters outside the Assembly here.
He said that Gill oversaw gross human rights violations during his stint as chief of the Punjab Police.
Badal said that this deliberate inaction, despite a written demand sent to both of them, had forced the SAD to stage a walk out in protest when the House took up the issue of reading obituary references.
"We will continue to protest any move to honour such anti-Sikh elements," he added.
Alleging that Gill hands were tainted with the blood of innocents, the SAD president said "his tenure as the DGP of Punjab saw extra judicial killings."
"Many Sikh youths are still untraced. Even the CM had recently admitted that 21 Sikh youth who had surrendered at his instance had been eliminated. All this happened during Gill's tenure as DGP. As a Leader of the House Singh should have ensured such a controversial figure was not honoured in any form today", the SAD president said.
He also said that the speaker should also have taken note of Gill's conviction in a case pertaining to the sexual harassment of an senior woman IAS officer
The speaker should have struck off the former cop's name from the list of obituary references himself, Badal said, adding that the august house cannot pay tributes to a person with such a track record.
The SAD president also slammed AAP Punjab president and leader of the Opposition H S Phoolka's for not expressing solidarity with the Sikh masses on this issue.
"Phoolka likes to present himself as a champion of all Sikh causes. As a leader of the opposition it was expected that he would lead the protest against honouring Gill or at least support the SAD. He did neither. He should explain his stand to the Sikh panth forthwith," Sukhbir said.
The SAD president also said it would not be fair on part of the freedom fighters to pay tributes to them alongside a "human rights violator".
He said that the SAD was only against paying tributes to Gill and had the utmost respect for freedom fighters and all other prominent personalities to whom tributes were paid by the House today.
Meanwhile, radical Sikh outfit Dal Khalsa also slammed the legislators for making an obituary reference to Gill, saying they have insulted the emotions of people of the state and rubbed salts on the simmering wounds of victims of the state "repression and rights abuses".
Party chief H S Cheema and spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said Gill deserves neither tributes nor condolences.
"By offering tribute in the Vidhan Sabha to the person who never followed or worked within the ambit of rule of law, the present day government has legalised the state-terrorism", they alleged in a joint statement here.
They also attacked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the BJP and the Congress for making obituary references to Gill and not staging the walk out.
They, however, appreciated the Akali Dal and the Lok Insaaf Party for taking a stance and staging walk out in protest against paying homage to Gill in the Assembly.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)