Mass Protest Planned in Punjab After Arrest of Social Media Activist Bhana Sidhu
Recently, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) expressed deep concern over increasing human rights violations in Punjab.
By Rakesh Raman
A number of social activists and civil rights groups held a public rally today (May 16) in the Barnala region of Punjab and announced the launch of a statewide protest against the police excesses.
The planned protest has been announced after the arrest of social media activist Bhana Sidhu who had allegedly spoke on social media against the corruption of a police officer.
According to a Hindustan Times report of May 15, Bhana Sidhu was arrested by the Barnala police when he came back from Australia where he had made the remarks against the policeman.
A close aide of social activist Lakha Sidhana, Bhana Sidhu has been raising his voice against the misgovernance of the Punjab Government headed by chief minister (CM) Bhagwant Mann.
A number of leading Punjab activists spoke at the rally which was organized to get Bhana Sidhu released from police custody. Lakha Sidhana said that CM Bhagwant Mann is unleashing police against all those people who criticize the government.
He added that Bhagwant Mann is not only attacking the freedom of speech rights of ordinary people in the state, but he is also becoming a major threat to the press freedom as local journalists are not allowed to work freely.
Recently, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) expressed deep concern over increasing human rights violations in Punjab, which has a large number of people belonging to the Sikh minority community. Ms. Omar urged the U.S. administration to protect the human rights of all, particularly the rights of all religious and ethnic minorities.
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Today, with multiple protests by different sections of society, Punjab is witnessing a state of complete unrest while Bhagwant Mann – an illiterate politician who used to work in vulgar comedy shows – has completely failed in running the government.
People accuse Bhagwant Mann of working as a puppet of his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP politicians in Delhi. The protesters say that they will not wait for 5 years until the next state election and will get the AAP government removed before the election if it fails to work honestly.
Bhagwant Mann and Kejriwal are squandering huge public money of Punjab Government on advertisements in Punjab and other states to promote their party and their own images with fake publicity campaigns.
But the people of Punjab are suffering under unprecedented political corruption, lawlessness, unemployment, drug addiction, mafia culture, youth exodus, religious fundamentalism, and state oppression.
Therefore, Lakha Sidhana and his supporters said that they will intensify their agitation against the Bhagwant Mann government which is being controlled remotely from Delhi by Kejriwal.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of the humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.
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