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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

Will continue protest for permanent release of Sikh prisoners: Khalsa

Hillary Victor , Hindustan Times  SAS Nagar, December 28, 2013
First Published: 22:38 IST(28/12/2013) | Last Updated: 00:13 IST(29/12/2013)

Activist Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, who reached Amb Sahib Gurdwara here on Saturday after ending his 45-day hunger strike at the Akal Takht in Amritsar, said he would continue his protest for the permanent release of the Sikh prisoners, but as per the legal framework.

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Before leaving for native village Thaintal in Kurukshetra, Khalsa said they would celebrate the release of the four former militants on parole at his hometown. "My house has been decorated and on Saturday night we will also have fireworks. Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh has promised to support me for the permanent release of the Sikh prisoners. I will prepare a list of the prisoners and will work accordingly."

When asked whether the call for the protest was voluntary or under someone's influence, he said, "It was my call and I am happy that my family supported me. The day I decided to sit on hunger strike, my son took charge of agricultural work at home as I own 35 acres of land in the village," said Khalsa. "Now I have decided to leave my family for the cause," he added.

"Earlier, we were demanding the release of four prisoners, but then we got so many phone calls, and decided to demand the release of the six prisoners. "We will also fight for the Sikh prisoners who are under trial and will provide them all legal help."

On being asked about the role of the Punjab government, he said that initially they did not pay heed to their demands, but it was in the last week that they were under pressure and were forced to act on their demands. He said some political parties tried to politicise the issue, but failed to do so.

Khalsa seemed relaxed and in a jovial mood as he had langar with a few journalists. He wore a Rolex watch and later went home in a brand new Mitsubishi Pajero SUV costing around Rs. 24 lakh.

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