Moga man climbs atop cell tower, seeks release of Sikh prisoners

Updated on Apr 29, 2022 06:36 PM IST

The protester, identified as Balwinder Singh — a Baptised Sikh belonging to Kokri Phula Singh village in Moga, also demanded a strict law against sacrilege of holy scriptures

A Sikh man climbed atop a cell tower at Rode village in Baghapurana subdivision of Moga district on Friday. (HT Photo)
A Sikh man climbed atop a cell tower at Rode village in Baghapurana subdivision of Moga district on Friday. (HT Photo)

A Sikh man climbed atop a mobile phone tower at Rode village in Baghapurana subdivision of Moga district on Friday, demanding the release of all Sikh prisoners who are languishing in Indian jails even after the completion of their jail terms. The protester, identified as Balwinder Singh — a Baptised Sikh belonging to Kokri Phula Singh village in Moga, also demanded a strict law against sacrilege of holy scriptures.

According to officials, he ​climbed atop the cell tower around 5 am and installed a Nishan Sahib (Sikh flag) before sitting next to it to mark his protest. He reportedly also wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to put forward his demands, including shifting Jagtar Singh Hawara, who is lodged in Delhi’s Tihar jail for the assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, to a Punjab jail.

The development came just ahead of the PM’s meeting with a Sikh delegation at his residence on Friday evening. In the letter, he thanked Modi for celebrating Guru Teg Bahadur’s birth anniversary, and said he hopes that the PM would now also give justice to the Sikh minority.

“It is very difficult for the Sikh community to tolerate sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib, which is still continuously going on; so, a law with strict punishment should be brought by the government. After this, concrete steps must be taken for the release of Sikh prisoners who have completed their jail terms; so, they can return to their homes,” he said in the letter.

Also referring to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) governments in Delhi and Punjab, he wrote: “Punjab ch chhote pra di sarkar aa te dilli ch wade pra di hai (In Punjab, the younger brother is ruling while the elder brother is governing Delhi); so Sikhs have high hopes from you (Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal).”

Moga deputy commissioner Kulwant Singh said a team of district administration is trying to convince Balwinder Singh to come down. “We are trying to talk to him through his family members and people of his village, but so far there has been no success, as he has refused to come down,” he said.

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