Taking a strong note of Punjab director general of police Sumedh Singh Saini’s statement during a press conference “about the state's inability to release Sikh prisoners convicted in terror cases”, radical outfit Dal Khalsa on Thursday said the DGP had no business speaking on the issue since it pertained to political prisoners.
“Is Punjab a police state or the political leadership lacks the confidence to address public issues?” Dal Khalsa president HS Dhami asked the chief minister and his deputy.
Referring to Saini's announcement that the government would approach the Supreme Court to seek release of eligible detainees, he said it was unfortunate that a police officer was made to issue the the government’s policy statement.
Over Saini’s remark that that premature release of such prisoners was a concession and not a matter of right, Dal Khalsa spokesman Kanwar Pal Singh said the DGP was no one to decide as to who was eligible and how much concession was to be given. “It is unfortunate that the likes of former police informer Gurmeet Singh Pinki are released who otherwise should have remained behind the bars for entire life. It shows that leniency is granted at will and not as per nature of crime,” he said. He alleged that the police were cracking down on Sikh activists who supported the cause of Khalsa and also warned the government against "repressive policies".
Meanwhile, Socialist Party (India) vice president Balwant Singh Khera also asked the government to take a clear stand on the issue. "The chief minister is in the habit of complicating the matters. He should handle the situation carefully and ensure that law and order is not disturbed,” he said.