‘Save Bhullar campaign’ seems to have fizzled out in Punjab

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Old 19-Jun-2011
‘Save Bhullar campaign’ seems to have fizzled out in Punjab

Chandigarh June 19:

Three weeks after, the mercy petition of Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar rejected by the President, “Save Bhullar Campaign” seems to have fizzled out in Punjab. Even though the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) is trying hard to involve its supporters to save the Khalistani militant from the gallows, it has found little support base.

Sensing that there is no forward movement on the issue from either the Akali Dal or the Congress in the State, the SGPC has decided to submit a memorandum to the Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil on Monday. To bring some momentum in the campaign, seemingly, of little interest to the populace at large, it has issued an emotional appeal.

“Prof Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar is on the death row since 8 years, has been in prison for 16 years, after an unfair trial, a split Supreme Court judgement and rejection of mercy plea by President of India,” said the emotional appeal of SGPC which has a photo of Bhullar facing the gallows. It has asked supporters to assemble in Gurdwara Amb in Mohali so that there could be a show of strength on the issue.

The decision of the SGPC to submit a memorandum to the Governor came a day after Germany and European Union opposed the execution of the militant. Interestingly, on the day when the President rejected the mercy plea, there was hardly any reaction from any political party. It was only later on that some political parties paid the customary lip service to the cause and then forgot the issue once again. Whatever support base which Bhullar had was limited to the cyberspace where expatriates were sending chain-emails and using the social networking sites to build up a cause.

While a section of the Sikh organisations wanted that a resolution should be passed by both the main parties — Akali Dal and Congress — in the State Assembly against the death sentence, the two parties never even thought of it. The one-day special session of the Assembly early this week found no mention of the issue, leave aside a resolution. Political sources said that the issue has lost its relevance. “Every medicine has an expiry date printed on it. Similarly, such emotions are past their expiry date. We can see some statements here and there. This is merely tokenism in the election year,” a senior Congress leader said.

Another source pointed out that even during the anniversary of “Operation Bluestar” from June 3 to 6, nothing was reported on the Bhullar front and all that happened was at Amritsar where the customary speeches extolling the Sikh militants was made at the Akal Takht. “But this happens every year. There are no political implications of such speeches and they hardly motivate the youngsters who are rather looking for employment opportunities and ways to go abroad,” he said. Realising that there is no electoral advantage, both Akali Dal and Congress want to keep the issue under wraps even though they too indulge in populism when repeatedly asked about it on record.

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