Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh honoured 1993 Delhi bomb blast convict Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar with a "siropa" in the latter's air-conditioned room at the psychiatry ward of Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, where he is undergoing treatment, on Monday.
The Akal Takht head spent about 30 minutes with Bhullar. No one was allowed in the room during their meeting. Talking to the media after meeting Bhullar, the Jathedar said: "I met Bhullar and enquired about his well-being and health."
The Jathedar also appreciated the Punjab and Delhi governments for shifting Bhullar's to Amritsar. "I appeal to the government that cases akin to Bhullar should be considered sympathetically and if possible, ailing prisoners should be released," he said.
The Jathedar also presented "siropas" to Bhullar's wife Navneet Kaur and his uncles Avtar Singh and Dilbagh Singh, outside the psychiatry ward.
Navneet, who spoke to the media for the first time, praised the Punjab and Delhi governments for transferring Bhullar to Amritsar. She is based in Canada but is presently staying with her parents in Amritsar.
MADE TO WAIT FOR AN HOUR
Earlier, the Jathedar was made to wait for an hour on Monday by the jail authorities before being permitted to meet Bhullar. Citing jail manual, the authorities told the Jathedar that visitors could meet prisoners only on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
However, the jail authorities took special permission from seniors in Chandigarh and the Jathedar was allowed to meet Bhullar. The Jathedar had to wait in a makeshift visitors' room in the psychiatry ward from 12:20pm to 1:20pm till the permission came from Chandigarh.
The jail authorities, however, didn't allow those accompanying the Jathedar, including Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) executive member Rajinder Singh Mehta, to see Bhullar. They were told to come on Tuesday or Saturday.
WIFE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE CONVICT
The jail authorities also didn't allow Bhullar's wife Navneet Kaur and his parental uncles to meet the Delhi blast convict. The authorities had ignored jail manual rules on Sunday by permitting a number of persons to meet Bhullar.
The convict, a former member of the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), was transferred to Amritsar from Delhi on June 12 due to medical reasons.
When questioned why the Jathedar was allowed to meet Bhullar, the jail officials said: "The orders came from our seniors.