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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Captain seeks release of 280 Sikh prisoners

Kamaldeep Singh Brar , Hindustan Times  Mehraj (Bathinda), December 19, 2013
First Published: 22:49 IST(19/12/2013) | Last Updated: 22:49 IST(19/12/2013)

Extending support to Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, who is on a fast-unto-death, former Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Thursday demanded that the Punjab government release 280 Sikh prisoners allegedly languishing in the state's jails even after the completion of their sentence.

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Addressing a rally at his ancestral village, Mehraj, on Thursday, Amarinder said he had great respect for Khalsa and his cause. However, he claimed that there was a long list of Sikh prisoners, apart from the list given by Khalsa.

"There are around 280 Sikh prisoners in Punjab's jails who have completed their sentence. Around 108 of them are political prisoners and the rest were jailed for other reasons. But they have all completed their sentence and there is no reason why the Punjab government has been not releasing them," the Captain said.

"I do not know why Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal and home minister (and deputy CM) Sukhbir Singh Badal are not releasing these prisoners," he said.

When asked about the inability expressed by the CM in getting Sikh prisoners locked in jails outside the state released, Amarinder said, "Why can't they do this? They must talk to the respective CMs. The BJP's Vasundhara Raje has become the Rajasthan CM. The Badals must talk to her for the release of prisoners. The thing is that they do not want to make efforts and it is not their priority."

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