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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Parole ends, ultras' return to jail

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times   SAS Nagar, January 25, 2014
First Published: 22:02 IST(25/1/2014) | Last Updated: 22:03 IST(25/1/2014)

After a 28-day parole, two former militants convicted of assassinating former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh returned to Burail jail on Saturday after praying at a local gurdwara where a comrade had fought for their freedom.

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Convicts Lakhwinder Singh and Shamsher Singh (along with Gurmeet Singh and Lal Singh), had come out on parole on December 27, 2013, after 42-day hunger strike by another former Sikh militant, Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, at Gurdwara Amb Sahib in Phase-7. It is now end of their first release in 19 years.

Lakhwinder Singh of Patiala, who is from Narangwal Khurd village in Ludhiana district originally spent his 28 parole days in Ludhiana, with his sister, Sukhwinder Kaur, and her husband. The couple and his father, Darshan Singh, dropped him back to the jail.

"My son's homecoming after 19 years would have been impossible, if Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa had not pressed the government by his hunger strike," said Darshan Singh. "I feel lucky to have been able to celebrate Lohri (winter festival) with him after long."

The other former militant, Shamsher Singh of Uski Jattan village in Patiala, spent all his parole days in the house, "meeting relatives who kept visiting". "I celebrated Lohri with family after long. It was being on cloud nine," he said. His wife, Baljinder Kaur, was among the relatives who escorted him back to jail.

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