Punjab and Haryana High Court Criticizes Misuse of Guru Granth Sahib in Protests

The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently expressed its dissatisfaction with the misuse of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhism, during protests demanding the release of Sikh prisoners. The court highlighted that the sacred text cannot be used as a shield to justify or condone unlawful activities. The observation came from a bench consisting of Acting Chief Justice Gurmeet Singh Sandhawalia and Justice Lapeeta Banerjee.

The court’s remarks were in response to a petition filed last year by the NGO, Arrive Safe Society, which complained about the inconvenience caused to commuters between Mohali and Chandigarh due to the ongoing protests. The demonstrations had significantly disrupted traffic and daily activities, prompting the NGO to seek judicial intervention.

Despite repeated opportunities, both the Punjab government and the Union Territory of Chandigarh have been reluctant to address the protest situation effectively, especially around the Mohali-Chandigarh border, causing substantial distress to travelers and local residents. The court noted that the mere presence of the Guru Granth Sahib at the protest site does not exempt the Punjab government from taking action against the demonstrators, especially those who are exploiting religious sentiments for their agendas.

During the hearing, the court reminded that it had previously summoned the Director General of Police (DGP) of Punjab to address the removal of protestors. It criticized both the Punjab and Chandigarh administrations for dragging their feet on this issue, stating that the images on record show no significant assembly at the site. Most local villagers are currently busy with the harvest, making it an opportune moment to clear the blockades.

The court expressed strong displeasure over the misuse of the Guru Granth Sahib and emphasized the need for immediate action to ensure that public order and daily life are not adversely affected by such protests.

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