Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday constituted a high-level committee of senior state officials to ensure the possibility of the release of the Sikh prisoners languishing in jails in cases related to terrorism days in the state.
The committee would resolve "the pending matters related to Sikh prisoners expeditiously within the ambit of the existing rules and regulations," a spokesman here said.
The committee comprises additional chief secretary (home), principal secretary to the chief minister, principal secretary jails, additional directors general of police for intelligence and prisons, besides four representatives of Sikh organisations.
The committee has been mandated to examine such specific cases meticulously so as to ensure timely release of these prisoners lodged in different jails of Punjab and outside.
Badal took this decision during a meeting with the representatives of some Sikh organisations to review the situation arising out of the fast-unto-death by Surat Singh Khalsa, at his residence on Thursday morning.
The committee would examine all such 82 cases in the list submitted by the Sikh bodies' representatives to the chief minister during the meeting, the spokesman said.
The delegation urged the chief minister to take steps for the release of some convicts belonging to Punjab, who were lodged in jails outside the state as well. They were informed in the meeting that the chief minister had already personally taken up the issue with the chief ministers of the states concerned.
Punjab's additional chief secretary (home) Jagpal Singh Sandhu has been assigned the task of pursuing the matter with the state governments concerned.
The representatives also impressed upon the chief minister to sympathetically consider the matter of getting the convicts lodged in other states transferred to Punjab.
The Sikh bodies' delegation also requested that the state government should expedite requests for parole wherever it was sought. They were, however, informed that the state government had already streamlined the process for the release of such prisoners, and if any such case of delay came to its notice, it would be considered on priority.
There would also be an effort by the Punjab government to pursue the release of certain undertrials on bail within the ambit of the law.