Hundreds of British Columbia Sikhs and human rights protesters gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday in support of Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, who has been on a hunger strike for the past more than 40 days. Khalsa is seeking the release of former militants who have completed their jail sentences.
Prem Vinning, president of the World Sikh Organisation of Canada, said eight local gurdwara members, including himself, went on a hunger strike from 8am to 8 pm along with hundreds who gathered for a rally at the art gallery "to show support and solidarity for his hunger strike."
"Basically what (Khalsa) is saying is people who have completed their minimal sentences, their prison terms, should be released and be allowed to return to their families and rebuild their lives," he said.
"People are just being kept there (in jail) and they need to be released after they've served their sentence, paid their dues to society," said Vinning.
He added that similar hunger strikes and peaceful rallies took place in Sikh communities across the globe on Sunday.
"Just a rally to show support to highlight the issue, that this needs to be addressed," he said.