Dal Khalsa, a radical Sikh group, has opposed the reported opinion of the Punjab jail department that granting parole to ex-militant Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar could pose a threat to peace in the state.
Party spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh, senior activist Manjinder Singh and advocate Harpal Singh Cheema, chairman of the Sikhs for Human Rights, in a joint statement released here on Thursday, said the high-ups in the jail department were hell-bent on creating hurdles so that Bhullar and other prisoners who had completed more than 18 years in prison could not be released on parole. “Terming Bhullar’s release as a threat to law and order is a figment of the imagination of the jail authorities,” they stated.
Strongly contesting the claims of jail department, they wondered as to how could a person who has completed 20 years behind bars and was not keeping good health and was under medical treatment, could pose challenge to Punjab’s peace. Moreover, maintaining law and order in the state was the responsibility of police leadership and not the jail department, they added.
The Dal Khalsa leaders claimed that the opinion of jail authorities had the blessings of the BJP, which has openly objected to Bhullar’s jail transfer from Delhi to Amritsar. Bhullar, a 1993 Delhi bomb blast convict was transferred to Amritsar on last Friday and since then is undergoing treatment at the psychiatry ward of the Guru Nanak hospital.
There are indications that the state government is not averse to releasing Bhullar on parole. His wife, Navneet Kaur, too has indicated that parole would be considered but only after her husband's health shows improvement.