CHANDIGARH, Punjab—Infamous retired police officer Izhar Alam, who is perpetrator of killing of innocent Sikhs in Punjab, has been appointed as vice-president of Shiromani Akali Dal led by Sukhbir Badal. The appointment is drawing criticism from Sikhs across the world, and has again left their sentiments deeply injured.
During the 1980’s and early 1990’s, the former Senior Superintendent of Punjab Police played a major role in oppressing the armed Sikh struggle, in which he is known to have used inhumane methods. He is the architect of the infamous “Alam Sena” also known as “Black Cats” responsible for fake encounters, in which thousands of Sikh youths were killed under the pretext of fighting “terrorism”.
Wikileaks had also endorsed Alam’s involvement in violation of human rights in form of extra-judicial killings in Punjab.
Former DGP, KP Gill, had publicly praised the Alam Sena by stating that the Punjab police could not have functioned without them. There are several human rights cases pending against Alam, and other Punjab Police officers involved in various human rights atrocities that occurred in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
It is pertinent to mention that during Punjab assembly elections in 2012, Parkash Badal fielded Izhar Alam as SAD candidate from Malerkotla seat. At that time, Sikhs had opposed this decision harshly. After facing a backlash, Akalis transferred party ticket to Alam’s wife Farzana Alam, changing her name to ‘Nissara Khatoon’. This was nothing, but a clever attempt made to fill eyes of Sikhs with dust.
The move to name Alam as Vice President of Shiromani Akali Dal, an alleged political party of the Sikh Nation, is being met with deep fury of Sikh living worldwide.
Role of Izhar Alam in Mass Conversions in Punjab
In addition to inhumane brutalities by Izhar Alam, his role has also been in the limelight for driving mass conversions in Punjab. Sikhs have filed written complaints with the Akal Takht Sahib, asking for intervention in stopping the forced conversions. Sikh24 has received reports of families that were lured to convert to Islam, and many times forced.
In addition to Sikhs, other religious minorities in Punjab have also been targeted by Alam.