Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh has welcomed the release of former militant Waryam Singh from Bareilly jail in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and added that the step would restore the faith of the Sikh community in the Punjab government and the Central government as well.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the jathedar thanked all those who had extended their cooperation in getting Waryam — sentenced to life imprisonment under the now repealed Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevent) Act (TADA) — out of jail after 25 years eight months.
“Waryam Singh’s release has created a lot of goodwill and respect for the Central as well as the state government among the Sikh community. This respect can be enhanced if other cases for release are also considered,” he added.
The jatherdar’s statement, however, did not mention UP jails minister Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, who had taken a keen interest in Waryam’s case after taking over as the state’s jail minister in October this year.
Sources said the jathedar, probably, did not mention Ramoowalia by name as the former Akali leader had ditched the SAD to join the UP government and the jathedar would not have wanted to join the Akali leadership in the state. The jathedar added that the Sikh community had been demanding the release of all Sikhs detained since the days of militancy in Punjab.