Sukhbir advocates all party meet to Evolve Consensus over Religious Conversion Issue



DCM-in-a-meeting-with-officers-at-AmritsarNewZNew (Chandigarh/Amritsar) : Punjab Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to call an all party meeting to ally apprehensions of minorities on the issue of religious conversions even as he called upon the government to frame a law to restrict such conversions.

Talking to the media at the information office of the Darbar Sahab complex here, the Deputy Chief minister said religious conversions could add to communal tensions and that this matter should be handled sensitively.

Responding to a media query regarding demand raised by various Sikh Organizations for the amendment of Section 25(B) of the Constitution which includes Sikhs as a part of Hindu community, Mr. Sukhbir said that it is universally known fact that Sikhs have a distinct identity. “Sikhism is an independent race and the entire community has the same stand on this issue. There is no need for any second opinion on this issue”.

Talking about release of Sikh prisoners languishing in jails after completion of term of life imprisonment, Mr. Badal said he had on his own initiative written to the Union Home minister and requested him to take up the issue of release of Sikh detainees in jails outside Punjab. He also clarified that life imprisonment implied a jail term for the convict’s entire life and not imprisonment for 14 or 20 years and the remission could be awarded only by powers vested with Governors of the States. He also informed that Supreme court had imposed a stay on releasing any detainees under the premature release policy in the entire country and that because of this nothing could  be done as of now at the State level. “Still on compassionate grounds we are trying to do as much as possible and Attorney General (AG) of the State would be asked to take up case with the Apex Court so as to work out a remedial course of action”, he added.

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In context of the unfortunate desecration of the ‘Saroop’ of Guru Granth Sahib ji at village Jodhpur in Tarn Taran district, Deputy CM informed that a Special SIT has been constituted under Commissioner Police, Amritsar and SSP rank official will support the commissioner police for an early enquiry into the issue. He said that the SIT will put up its report within 48 hours and thereafter the perpetrator of the blasphemous act would be brought to book. He said that sacrilege by any of the cultists and miscreants is not tolerable in the interest of peace and harmony of the State.

Earlier, Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal along with his wife Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries, paid obeisance at Golden Temple and partook in the Bhog of Sri Akhand Path Sahib.

Meanwhile, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal, who was in city today to take stock of ongoing development projects, issued directions to the senior officers of state as well as executing agencies to expedite the construction so that these projects could be accomplished before December 2015.

Reiterating his resolve to develop Holy City as one of the most beautiful city in the country, Mr. Badal said all round development and beautification of Amritsar besides creation of eco-friendly environment was one of the top-priority of SAD-BJP. He said the state was paying special attention towards this city so that not only residents but also lakhs of tourists visiting Amritsar could be facilitated with ultra modern facilities and development initiatives. He also asked officers to ensure the timely completion of internal beautification of Golden Plaza. He also directed to keep the general vehicles away from Golden Temple Complex to eliminate congestion for the facilitation of devotees.

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Reviewing the status of project under which heritage look would be given to the passage from Golden Temple to Hall Gate, Mr. Badal directed officers to start the work right from Sri Darbar Sahib. He said under this project all roads and streets would be well constructed, electricity polls would be removed and it would witness world class landscaping, planting and fountains.  Mr. Badal also asked senior officers to oversee the ongoing projects personally so the dream of establishing Amritsar as major tourist spot could be realised. He also reviewed the ongoing projects included widening of roads, BRTS, beautification of Chowk Shaheedan, Entry Gates, War Memorial, Gobindgarh Fort, Solid Waste Management, Sewerage Treatment Plant, Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath Memorial, under construction parking at Attari border and directed officers that these project would be completed well in time.

The officers apprised Deputy CM that Bus Rapid Trnasit System would be completed well before December 2015. They informed that this Rs. 491 crore project would witness dedicated bus tracks from Bhandari Bridge to India Gate, Bhandari Bridge to Daburji, Daburji Byepass to Verka, Verka to Celebration Mall, Celebration Mall to Sant Singh Sukh Singh Chowk, 4S Chowk to Kitchlu Chowk and Kitchlu Chowk to Old Sadar police station.

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Prominent amongst those present in the meeting included Mr. P.S. Aujla, Principal Secretary to Deputy CM, Mayor Bakshi Ram Arora, Commissioner Pardeep Sabharwal, Chairman Improvement Trust Sandeep Rishi and officers of various departments.


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