Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu has threatened to go on an indefinite fast if the Punjab government or the Centre decides to pardon and release Sikh prisoners convicted in terror-related cases.
"What message are we going to convey to the peace-loving citizens of this nation if we start releasing those who were convicted for indulging in terrorist activities as well as in anti-national activities," the Ludhiana MP said while talking to HT on Wednesday.
Bittu criticised Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Avtar Singh Makkar for supporting the release of those militants who are being held prisoner beyond their normal life sentences.
"Are you going to pardon cold-blooded killers who were responsible for the killing of more than 30,000 innocent persons and security force personnel in Punjab and elsewhere," he asked, posing the question to the jathedar and Makkar.
The Congress leader regretted that instead of ignoring a person like Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, who himself was involved in militant activities, the jathedar and the SGPC chief had chosen to support his demand for the release of Sikh prisoners.
"Do you justify the release of terrorists such as Jagtar Singh Hawara, Paramjit Singh Bheora and others? As head of the highest temporal seat of Sikhism, what message are you conveying to the younger generation," he sought to know from the jathedar.
Bittu, the grandson of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, who was assassinated in 1995, appealed to the jathedar not to succumb to the pressure of people such as Gurbaksh Singh.
"It will be a black day in the history of Punjab if killers such as Hawara, Bheora and even Tara are pardoned. The jathedar, being a religious leader, should stand up for the people of Punjab and not for a handful of individuals," he added.
Bittu advised the jathedar that instead of wasting his energy on fulfilling Gurbaksh's wishes, he should concentrate on leading the fight against drugs in Punjab.
"Even if one terrorist is released from prison, I assure you (jathedar) that I will go on a fast-unto-death," he added.