In an interview given outside the Indian Consulate at a rally in honor of Gurbaksh Singh and for passage of U.S. House Resolution 417, Navjot Kaur says: “I just read about House Bill 417 in U.S., which would safeguard rights of the minorities and also safeguard religious freedom.”
Navjot Kaur is Director of Organization for Minorities of India’s (OFMI’s) Women’s Wing.
The rally took place on December 10, 2013 — UN Human Rights Day.
A partial transcript of Navjot’s remarks:
“Gurbaksh Singh has been on hunger strike since November 14, 2013. He had been arrested about four days back. Actually, been abducted by the Punjab Police, not exactly arrested because there were no arrest warrants.
“They were not in uniform. The people who disguised themselves as Sikhs, they just came in the middle of the night. He had put up a tent in a gurdwara in Punjab — in the capital of Punjab, Chandigarh, actually. There were about 20 of his supporters sitting beside him. He was laying down when they abducted him.
“It is actually very common to just pick up people. That’s why I normally don’t call it arrest because it’s not arrest. It’s being picked up. It’s being abducted. It is common. It was very common in the 80s and 90s. It had been a little changed in the last few years.
“But this is really different. When they picked up someone who was sitting in a public, a religious place, and people were supporting him, and he was supporting a very good cause in a very peaceful way. Actually, the way which Indians adore….
I just read about House Bill 417 in U.S., which would safeguard rights of the minorities and also safeguard religious freedom…. It would support all kinds of minorities, which would include Muslims, Christians, and the regional minorities, which would include the people of the State of Manipur, the State of Chhattisgarh, and also the women, which are also a minority in India.”