Sikh hardliners to fast for release of former militants

Chandigarh, Nov 30 : Leaders of radical Sikh groups will observe a one-day hunger strike Monday to seek the release of former militants who have completed their jail terms.

Leaders from radical Sikh groups like Dal Khalsa, Damdami Taksal, Akali Dal (Panch Pardani), Sikh Youth of Punjab, Punjab Human Rights Organization (PHRO), Lawyers for Human Rights and Khalsa Panchayat will observe the fast in Mohali Monday, Dal Khalsa leader Kanwar Pal Singh said Saturday.

The radical leaders will join Gurbaksh Singh, who is on fast-onto-death at Gurdwara Amb Sahib in Mohali, near Chandigarh, for the past 16 days.

Gurbakash Singh, 48, who belongs to neighbouring Haryana, is on hunger strike seeking the release of at least five former militants, who, according to him, were not being released from jails by different governments even after they had completed the prison sentences awarded to them by the respective courts.

"He has sought the release of Lakhvinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh and Shamsher Singh, who have spent 18 years in prison in the case of assassination of then chief minister Beant Singh. They were awarded life sentences and were lodged in Chandigarh's Burail jail since their arrest in 1995.

"Similarly, he is seeking the release of Lal Singh from Nabha Jail in Punjab and Gurdeep Singh from Karnataka, as they too had completed 20 years and 23 years in jail, respectively, after being convicted by different courts under the provisions of TADA," the Dal Khalsa leader said.

Accusing the central government of adopting different yardsticks for majority and minority communities, the radical leaders called upon all Sikh organisations and civil liberties groups to join the protest. They said that many Sikh youth were not being released even after they had completed their prison sentences.

--IANS (Posted on 30-11-2013)

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