Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal on Friday wrote a letter to Union home minister Rajnath Singh, making an appeal to consider the release of all Sikh detainees presently languishing in jails outside Punjab for the past 19 to 24 years.
Sukhbir explained in his communiqué that the cases of the Sikh detainees pertained to a period when Punjab was in a state of turmoil. He said it was during this period that these detainees committed various acts for which they had been awarded life imprisonment and were lodged in jails in several states and as well as the union territory of Chandigarh.
“I feel the time has come now to consider release of all Sikh detainees who have served prison terms of 20 years, including remissions, so that they can be released as per the premature release policies of various state governments and the UT. Some of these detainees are above 70 years of age and their case for release can also be considered on humanitarian grounds. This decision will also act as a psychological balm,” he wrote.
The deputy CM also named several such detainees, such as Gurmeet Singh, Shamsher Singh and Lakhwinder Singh (serving prison sentence for 19 years at the Burail jail in Chandigarh), Waryam Singh (lodged in Bareilly central jail for 24 years under the old TADA Act), Gurdeep Singh Khaira (lodged at Gulbarga jail in Karnataka for 24 years) and Subeg Singh (in Burail jail for the past 15 years).