January 9, 2015 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New Delhi, India: As Punjab government sought release of Sikh political prisoners, the Home Ministry fo India yesterday indicated that ‘legal opinion could be taken in select cases like old people’ and those having completed 20 years in prison but not ‘those convicted in serious charges’.
Releasing those convicted in charges like the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh is ruled out, said Home Ministry officials yesterday after Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal met Home Minister Rajnath Singh with the demand.
“There is no question of softening of stand in these cases. No commitment has been given to Badals on releasing any prisoner. There is no question of releasing people like those who were convicted for killing CM Beant Singh,” media reports quote an unnamed official.
“However, selected cases may be legally examined… Ways may be explored to examine legally the possibility of releasing those who have completed at least 20 years in prison,” the official said.
Sukhbir Badal, who was accompanied by SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar and Badal Dal’s leader in Parliament Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, presented representations to the Home Minister for the release on “humanitarian grounds” the prisoners who have completed their jail term.
In his letter to the Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Gujarat, Parkash Singh Badal had sought pre-mature release of 13 Sikh political prisoners.
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