March 28, 2015 | By Parmjeet Singh
Jalandhar, Punjab: Representatives of Sikh bodies today staged a protest march against indifferent and discriminative approach of the Centre as well as state governments towards the political prisoners who have completed their maximum term in prison.
Referring to Akali veteran Bapu Surat Singh, who is on hunger strike since Jan 16 demanding the release of all such prisoners, the Sikh bodies made an fervent appeal to Present of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee to intervene and ensure justice to all.
The march started from Gurdwara Guru Tegh Bahadur and culminated at Guru Nanak Mission chowk.
Holding placards and snaps of Bapu Surat Singh, the young activists of Sikh Youth of Punjab (SYP) held the march and raised slogans supporting the cause. The activists distributed the copies of the letter written by Surat Singh to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to passer-by.
SYP head Paramjit Singh said a state which has not been able to bend the will and determination of Manipuri activist Iron Chanu Sharmila – who is seeking the withdrawal of the AFSPA and is being forced fed for nearly 14 years is being foolhardy if it thinks that it can bend the will of a veteran Akali, who is being force-fed at Ludhiana civil hospital since Feb 28.
Addressing the spirited gathering, Dal Khalsa secretary Dr Manjinder Singh said the Sikhs were passing through a critical phase, when many socio-religio issues concerning the community were stuck in legal wranglings.
He said the status and fate of the present house of SGPC hangs in air as the case is in Supreme Court from last 4 years. Similarly, the existence of newly born Haryana based SGPC was unclear as the case is in Supreme Court. He said again the fate of Sikh political prisoners who have completed life term was in doldrums as the apex court has put a bar on the release of prisoners by state governments . He, however, admitted that the Sikhs at large were in a dilemma -what to do and what not to do.
SAD (Panch Pardani) head Jathedar Kulbir Singh Barapind and United Akali Dal secretary Gurdeep Singh Bhatinda said the federal rights of states to release political prisoners and the fundamental universal right of political prisoners to be released in reasonable time awaits President’s attention.
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