Harsimrat asks help for Punjabi detainees in Oregon

Harsimrat asks help for Punjabi detainees in Oregon

Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal. PTI

Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Friday urged External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to take up the issue of identifying Punjabis detained in an Oregon detention centre in the US with her American counterpart.

She urged Sushma to intervene to ensure detainees receive consular and legal access.

Quoting media reports, Harsimrat said 52 Indians have been detained in the Oregon facility but there is no report on their identity.

She said the Punjab government had also not been able to identify Punjabis detained at Oregon as no effort has been made to establish a control room and reach out to the affected families.

She said in such a situation Sushma could ask the relevant Indian Consulate to seek details of the Punjabis at Oregon.

Harsimrat said reports emanating from the US indicated that the detainees were not being allowed any access to lawyers.

She urged Sushma to make a case for the same with her US counterparts besides requesting the American authorities not to deport any of the detainees without giving them ample opportunity to make relevant appeals.

The Union minister said reports from Oregon also stated that that the Indian detainees were being held in subhuman conditions.

They are shackled and kept in cells close to open toilets, she said.