IRB – Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (Author)
Information on the treatment of Sikhs travelling between the state of Punjab and the state of Jammu and Kashmir was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. However, the Director of the Center for Sikh and Punjab Studies at Columbia University stated the following in correspondence:
With respect to checkpoints between Punjab and Kashmir, there is a border and there are checkpoints. Police are there doing such things as collecting excise duties, checking to make sure that car papers are in order, whether or not all the lights are working and so forth. Sikhs are treated like everyone else at these checkpoints; they will be forced to spend some money for these fees. (9 Apr. 2010)
A Professor of Political Science at the South Asia Institute at the University of Heidelberg corroborated that Sikhs are no longer singled out at checkpoints between Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir (20 Apr. 2010). The Professor added that "checking gets stringent if there is a terrorist strike, but the general frisking is no longer the case" (20 Apr. 2010).
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Director, Center for Sikh and Punjab Studies, Columbia University. 9 April 2010. Correspondence.
Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Heidelberg. 20 April 2010. Telephone interview.
Additional Sources Consulted
Oral sources, including: four academics with relevant subject matter expertise, an Indian human rights lawyer, and a non-profit organization focussed on human rights in Punjab were unable to provide information.
Publications, including: Harvard Human Rights Journal.
Internet sites, including: Amnesty International (AI), Asia Society, Asia Times Online, Asian Human Rights Commission, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Ensaaf, Harvard University, The Hindu Business Line, Human Rights Watch, India Centre for Human Rights and the Law, India, Border Security Force, International Crisis Group, The Kashmir Times, Punjab Newsline, The Times of India, University of Minnesota Human Rights Library, United Nations (UN), Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN),University of Notre Dame, University of Texas, University of Washington, World Sikh Organization of Canada.