Secure release of detainees or face action, warn Sikh bodies

Mohali, Punjab: The 28-day parole period of Gurmeet Singh, an accused in the Beant Singh assassination case, comes to an end tomorrow. Gurmeet Singh, who has been at his residence in Patiala during the furlough, will return to Model Jail, Burail, Chandigarh, by tomorrow afternoon.

Talking to The Tribune over the phone, he said he would report to the police station in Patiala tomorrow morning. Thereafter, he will be taken to Chandigarh.

“I celebrated New Year and Lohri with my family after a long time. It was wonderful to be amid my near and dear ones. I am thankful to all those who have been fighting for our (Sikh detainees) cause,” he said.

His two accomplices, Shamsher Singh and Lakhwinder Singh’s parole period ends on January 25. The fourth detainee, Lal Singh’s furlough ends on February 1. He was released from the Nabha jail on a 42-day parole on December 20.

Gurmeet Singh, Shamsher Singh and Lakhwinder Singh was granted parole for the first time in 19 years following a 42-day fast by activist Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa at Mohali. Khalsa has formed “Sikh Bandi Rehai Morcha” to seek the release of all Sikh detainees lodged in various jails of the country, despite having completed their jail term.

Today, members of Sikh religious bodies and family members of detainees held a protest march from Gurdwara Sacha Dhan, Phase III to the Deputy Commissioner’s office and submitted a memorandum. RP Singh, a member of the morcha, said: “We have cautioned the government that if it does not take any steps to secure the release of these detainees by February 20, we will launch an agitation again.”

A senior Home Department official said the detainees would have to report back to the jail authorities at the end of the parole. “Any violation of parole conditions can lead to denial of parole in future,” he said. On the release of the six Sikh convicts who had completed their jail term, he said it was up to the governments of states in which they had been tried and convicted to take up the matter.

Source: The Tribune

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