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Demonstrations in Haryana too

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Published on January 09, 2015 with No Comments

Various Sikh organisations took out a march in Ambala to seek the release of Sikh detainees. Former SGPC member Gurdeep Singh Bhanokheri participated in the march that started from Gurdwara Manji Sahib.In Fatehabad, members of various Sikh bodies held a demonstration and submitted a memorandum to the President and the Prime Minister through the Deputy Commissioner. The demonstrators wore black turbans and carried black flags. Swaran Singh, executive member, HSGMC, alleged violation of human rights of Sikh prisoners. Reports of protest and marches are also pouring in from Kaithal and Kurukshetra too.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s demand that convicted terrorists be released has stumped his party’s ally, the BJP. The Opposition, meanwhile, mounted a scathing attack at the ruling alliance for “promoting terrorists’ cause”.

Badal, in a letter to the chief ministers of a number of states, including Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Gujarat, besides the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and the Administrator of Chandigarh, sought the premature release of convicted terrorists from Punjab.He demanded the release — on “humanitarian grounds” — of 13 terrorists including Lakhwinder Singh, Shamsher Singh and Gurmeet Singh, who are serving life sentence in connection with the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.

Badal has also demanded the release of terrorists accused and convicted of triggering a bomb blast in Delhi in September 1993, in which nine persons were killed and 25 others, including then Youth Congress President MS Bitta, were injured. The Congress asked to know why such demands are being entertained and not strongly condemned by the BJP.

“The Punjab Chief Minister has demanded the release of terrorists convicted in the murder of a political leader occupying a Constitutional post.“Why is there no condemnation or denunciation of this shocking move by either the BJP or the Prime Minister? It is simply amazing,” exclaimed All India Congress Committee spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

The only response from the ruling establishment came from Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who said he will “talk to him Badal on this issue”.Badal’s move came after a Punjab resident, Gurbax Singh Khalsa, went on a hunger strike in Ambala in November 2014, demanding the release of six prisoners, including those convicted in the Beant Singh assassination case.Khalsa reportedly broke his fast following the promise of release of Lakhwinder, Shamsher and Gurmeet (who were subsequently released on 28 days parole from Burail jail in Chandigarh) and assurance by Akal Takht Jathedar Gurbachan Singh that he would take up the matter with the government.The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee is also believed to have written a letter to the Union Home Ministry, seeking the premature release of the sentenced prisoners.The Akalis have also indicated that they will meet Rajnath and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to take up the issue of release of Sikh prisoners languishing in jails across the country even after completing their term.

The Punjab Chief Minister said a delegation of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders would plead the case of these Sikh prisoners before the Centre to secure their release.“I have already taken up this matter with the respective state governments and the Centre for release of these prisoners,” he said, adding that the final call on this issue has to come from the Centre.


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