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Badal demands release of Sikh prisoners incarcerated in jails even after completion of their term

Chandigarh, (Aditi) – Former union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal today demanded the release of all Sikh prisoners incarcerated in various jails in the country even after completion of their jail terms.

The Bathinda MP, who raised this issue during question hour in parliament today, brought it to the notice of the house that following the attack on Sri Harmandir Sahib by the Congress government led by Indira Gandhi in 1984; several Sikhs were emotionally swayed and took the law in their own hands. She said the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had been seeking the release of the detainees after the completion of their sentences but some continued to be in prisons even after a period of 25 years.

Mrs Badal also brought it to the notice of the house that during the 550 th anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji in 2019, the NDA government had given a special remission to eight Sikh prisoners. She said these prisoners included Prof Devenderpal Singh Bhullar whose death sentence had been commuted to life imprisonment earlier in March, 2014 and Gurdeep Singh Khaira. She said despite this clear order the AAP government in Delhi led by Arvind Kejriwal was not allowing the release of Prof Bhullar. She said similarly Gurdeep Singh Khaira was incarcerated in a Karnataka jail without parole for more than 25 years.

Speaking about the inordinate delay in taking a decision on the mercy petition of death row prisoner Balwant Singh Rajjoana, Mrs Badal said now even the apex court had directed the centre to take a decision on the mercy petition of Rajjoana by April 30. She said Rajjoana was incarcerated in jail for the last 27 years and had been given his first parole for an hour to attend the last rites of his father recently. She said this was the state of affairs despite the fact that Rajjoana had been given a remission by the union government in 2019 but the same was not conveyed to the court by the government nor sent to the President to seek a pardon.

Speaking about the Sikh sentiments on the issue, Mrs Badal said while the Congress party’s sentiments were linked with former prime minister Indira Gandhi who had attacked Sri Harmandir Sahib, the entire Sikh world was one in wishing for an early release of the detainees.

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