Comrade Charan Singh Virdi, Secretary, Punjab State Committee of CPI(M) has condemned the Punjab cabinet decision to reimpose restrictions to scuttle the freedom to hold peaceful protest actions through a bill named ‘ Punjab prevention of damage to public and private property bill 2014” to be introduced in the budget session of the Punjab assembly. It betrays the anti people anti democratic and authoritarian streak of Akali-BJP coalition government of Chief Minister, Prakash Singh Badal.
It may be recalled that this draconian act was got passed by the Akali-BJP government in the assembly on October 12, 2010. But following strong public protests it was withdrawn in the assembly on October 9, 2011 while it was still at the stage of ratification by the President. Through this draconian legislation Akali-BJP rulers want to provide punishment and fine for holding protest march or demonstration without obtaining prior permission. Violation of the provisions will be a non-bailable and cognizable.
The Punjab State Committee of the CPI(M) has appealed to all the democratic people and political parties committed to defending democratic political rights provided in Article 19 of the Indian Constitution to raise their voice of protest against this decision of the Punjab cabinet and force it to withdraw this anti people and authoritarian step with immediate effect.