Jangveer Singh, Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, August 9. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today visited the bereaved families of those killed in the shooting incident at Old Creek Gurdwara in Wisconsin, US. He also visited the injured in hospital, including Lt Brian Murphy who saved several lives.
He was accompanied by Indian Ambassador in US Nirupama Rao .Badal promised logistic support to the victims’ relatives.
He announced an ex-gratia grant of Rs 5 lakh for the next of kin of each of six victims. He also said Government would provide free education in medical, engineering or any other stream to the children of the deceased.
Case filed against Badal in US court
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has been issued summons by a local court on charges of “overseeing the torture of Sikhs in Punjab”. A human right group, Sikhs for Justice, in a lawsuit filed in the district court for the Eastern district of Wisconsin, has claimed that the Chief Minister is responsible for shielding police officials responsible for custodial torture. The lawsuit has appealed for a jury trial. The chief minister has 21 days to answer the charges.
The NGO has taken up the case to generate awareness globally on the “extra -judicial killings of Sikhs” in Punjab at the hands of security forces, its attorney Gurpatwant Pannu claimed.
“The lawsuit aimed to send a message to political leaders that they would be answerable to international law and courts in case they indulged in human rights violations.” he said.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister’s office claimed that marginalised elements looking for publicity and owing allegiance to SAD (Amritsar) chief Simranjit Singh Mann were behind the “civil suit”.