November 24, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Ajitgarh/ Chandigarh (November 24, 2013): It is learnt that a Kurukshetra (Haryana) based Sikh Bhai Gurbax Singh has been on hunger strike since November 14, 2013. He is seeking release of Sikh prisoners who were not being released by the respective governments despite the fact that they have served the full terms of their sentences.
Gurbax Singh’s hunger strike has now entered in eleventh day.
While talking to Sikh Siyasat News (SSN), Gurbax Singh said that he shall not break his fast till death unless the Sikh prisoners who have served their full sentences are release.
It is notable that Bhai Gurbax Singh is seeking release of Bhai Gurmit Singh, Shamsher Singh, Lakhwinder Singh (who are confined in Burrail Jail, Chandigarh since 1995), Bhai Lal Singh (who was arrested in 1992 by Gujrat police and is currently confined in Maximum security jail Nabha) and Bhai Gurdip Singh (who is confined in Gurbarg Jail of Karnataka for last 23 years). These persons have serve their terms of sentence but were not being released by respective state governments.
Asin Jabar Da Mukabla Sabar Naal Karange
While talking to the Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) over phone Bhai Gurbax Singh Khalsa said that it was intolerable for him to remain silent while Sikhs were being forcefully kept in the jails.
“Asin Jabar Da Mukabla Sabar Naal Karange” (we shall challenge the atrocities in peaceful manner), he said.
August 19 Memorandum:
Explaining the background of the struggle Bhai Harpal Singh Cheema, who was with Bhai Gurbax Singh at Gurdwara Amb Sahib Mohali today, told Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) that a memorandum was tendered to the Administrator of Chandigarh on August 19, 2013 seeking release of three Singhs confined in Burrail Jail. The administrator was also intimated that his failure to act upon the demand may lead to hunger strike.
November 14 March and memorandum:
On November 14, 2013 the Sikh organizations held a protest march in Chandigarh and submitted fresh memorandums to the Chandigarh Administration and Home ministry of India. “The authorities were told about the hunger strike by Bhai Gurbax Singh and his demands” Bhai Cheema told SSN.
November 18 protest demonstration by Sikh organization:
Akahnd Kirtani Jatha’s head Bhai R.P. Singh told SSN that a protest march and demonstration was held by various Sikh bodies on November 18, 2013 condemning the failure of the Chandigarh administration (and other concerned state governments) to take necessary steps for the release of Sikh prisoners who were being held behind the bars even after serving the sentences awarded by the courts.
Response of various Sikh organizations
Meanwhile various Sikh bodies and personalities have come forward to extend their support to Gurbax Singh; these include Akhand Kirtani Jatha, Dal Khalsa, Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat, Shiromani Akali Dal Amritsar (Mann), Akali Dal Panch Pardhani, Guru Asra Trust (Mohali), Bhai Fauja Singh Trust and Damdami Taksal (Ajnala) besides other social/religious bodies.
Response of SGPC President & Akal Takht Jathedar:
It is learnt that in recent days SGPC President Avtar Singh Makkar and Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh visited Gurbax Singh at Amb Sahib Mohali. They reportedly expressed concern about the issue but expressed a different opinion about the mode of struggle. Giani Gurbachan Singh reportedly said that hunger strike was not part of the Sikh tradition.
Response of Sikhs in Jails:
The struggle initiated by Bhai Gurbax Singh Khalsa has been supported by various Sikhs in jails. Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara has issued a statement (published by Daily Pehredar, a Punjabi vernacular published from Ludhiana) supporting struggle Bhai Gurbax Singh’s cause. He also issued an appeal to the Sikh organizations to support Gurbax Singh, and asked the SGPC President Avtar Singh Makkar and Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh to clear their stand on the issue.
Similarly, Bhai Baljeet Singh Bhau, Daya Singh Lahoriya and others have appealed to the Sikh organization to extend every support to Bhai Gurbax Singh.
During a court appearance some Sikh under-trial prisoners from Nabha Jail reportedly told media persons that Sikh political prisoners of Nabha jail have also extended their support to the struggle initiated by Bhai Gurbax Singh.
Bhai Harpal Singh Cheema, acting president of Akali Dal Panch Pardhani informed that Bhai Gurbax Singh is becoming physically weak day by day; while he remains in high spirits and determined for his cause. He said that the concerned authorities have failed to respond to his demands till date.
A team of police personnel and doctors is routinely visiting Gurdwara Amb Sahib to see and examine Bhai Gurbax Singh who have lost 7 Kgs weight since November 14.
Extreme step in democracy:
Bhai Gurbax Singh said that it was the unconcerned behavior of the government/s that forced him to take this step, to which he referred as “extreme step in a democratic setup”.
Bhai Harpal Singh Cheema also opined that threatening one’s life to get heard by the governments is perhaps the last step in any democratic setup.
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