Day of 135 Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa has been on a hunger strike since January 16, 2015
CHANDIGARH, Punjab May 29, 2015
After Punjab chief minister Parkash Badal made assurance to Sikh leaders on the issue of Sikh political prisoners in his special meeting with Bandi Singh Rihai Sangharsh Committee on May 28, the government officials have reportedly started the process of reviewing legal aspects in cases of Sikh prisoners.
From the Sangharsh Committee, United Akali Dal leader Gurnam Singh Sidhu, Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa’s daughter Bibi Sarwinder Kaur and Jaswinder Singh Brar today met ADGP (intelligence) Hardeep Singh Dhillon and discussed over legal aspects required for release of Sikh prisoners languishing in various jails in India despite completion of their terms.
Sharing information about today’s meeting; Gurnam Singh Sidhu said that various legal points related to relief for the prisoners were discussed in view of the stay ordered by Supreme court on constitutional rights of states in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
“The ADGP (I) assured that positive approach would be followed in taking measures for release of seven old aged Sikh prisoners, who were convicted in Ludhiana Bank robbery case (1987). These prisoners are between the age 60 years to 80 years”, he said.
The Sikh leaders insisted that the government could release Subeg Singh and Nand Singh who have been facing imprisonment since 1995 and 1993 respectively. Notwithstanding the High Court had intervened into the matter, the government did not allow for their release.
However, the officials expressed their helplessness for making release of Bhai Jagar Singh Hawara, Bhai Parmjit Singh Bheora, Bhai Jagtar Singh Tara and Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana possible.
During the meeting, it was also discussed that those Sikh prisoners who have been detained for 2-3 years, could be released on bail.
Sidhu said that the ADGP (I) told them that the government had not received any reply to the letter sent by it to Delhi government urging it to shift Prof. Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar to Punjab.
As per reliable sources, the high class officer repeatedly demanded that the announcement of staging protest on railway tracks on May 31 in support of Bapu Surat Singh be withdrawn by Sikh organizations. But the Sikh leaders clarified that until the government does not deliver its promise, they would not do so.
Meanwhile, the government officials have reportedly short listed 78 Sikh prisoners from the list of 83. The list was handed over by the Sikh organizations. The official claimed that some Sikh prisoners have already been acquitted or released on bail.
It is worth mentioning that Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa’s hunger strike which has crossed around 3 months, has pressurized the government to rethink the issue of Sikh political prisoners.