CHANDIGARH: US-based rights group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) has urged Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to pass a resolution in the Special Assembly Session on Wednesday to challenge the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) Canal before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Hague. Meanwhile, to prevent any law and order situation, the Rapid Action Force (RAF) was on Sunday deployed on the Punjab-Haryana border even as it was sealed and patrolling increased on National Highway-1.
In a communiqué to Badal, SFJ said that with the November 10 decision of the Supreme Court on the SYL Canal, the people of Punjab have exhausted all legal remedies available under the judicial system to secure their riparian rights over the water resources of their homeland. “Now, the only recourse left for the people to secure their riparian rights is to challenge the court’s decision before the International Court of Justice,” it said. “If the Punjab government fails to take up the SYL case before the ICJ, SFJ with the support of the people of Punjab will challenge the Supreme Court’s decision before the International Court in Hague,” said attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannu.
Four companies of the RAF have been deployed at Rajpura, Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib and Mohali in Punjab. One company will keep a check at Kapuri, the source of the SYL Canal and Shambu barrier on the Punjab-Haryana border, the other at Fatehgarh Sahib will monitor the movement on NH-1 and the SYL Canal area in Ropar.
Meanwhile, Haryana has suspended operations of its buses plying to Punjab on long routes for security reasons. The buses from the neighbouring State are plying only on short routes. Punjab CM Badal has urged his Haryana counterpart M L Khattar to resume the bus services.
Khaps in Haryana, who had earlier threatened to ‘delink’ Punjab from Delhi by blocking road and rail networks, have now decided that on Wednesday they will meet Khattar and request him to get them an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for implementation of the Supreme Court verdict on the SYL issue.
In a related development, Punjab Congress, led by Capt Amarinder Singh, on Sunday vowed to protect the last drop of the State’s water, declaring that not even a single drop would be allowed to leave the State till their last breath. Addressing a rally at Khuian Sarwar village, close to Abohar — the tail-end of the SYL Canal — Amarinder dared the Akalis to quit the Assembly and face the Congress in the Assembly elections, which he said should be held in December itself to prevent Badal from further vitiating the atmosphere in the State.
On the CM’s assertion that he was ready to face the bullet in order to protect the waters of Punjab, Amarinder said Badal had, even back in 1984, made such claims, but when the time came to fight for Punjab he went into hiding in his Uttar Pradesh farms, leaving the people to fend for themselves. Pointing out that 10 lakh acres of land, farmed by 2 lakh families and supported by another 2 lakh farm labourers, depended on agriculture in Punjab, he said implementation of the SYL verdict would ruin them all.
Amarinder also lashed out at AAP boss and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for failing to clarify, even three days after the SYL Canal verdict, whether he stands with Punjab on the