Patiala, December 4, 2023 (Yes Punjab News)
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today asserted that chief minister Bhagwant Mann and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Convener Arvind Kejriwal would be solely responsible in case any harm was done to Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana by going on hunger strike tomorrow, even as it condemned AAP for turning into enemies of the Bandi Singhs.
Senior leaders Bikram Singh Majithia and Virsa Singh Valtoha made this assertion while interacting with media persons after they were stopped from meeting Bhai Rajoana in the Central Jail here despite having received permission for the same from the ADGP, Prisons.
Asserting that the chief minister had reversed the decision of the State Prison department to accord permission to the SAD delegation to meet Bhai Rajoana, Mr Bikram Majithia said “it seems the chief minister wants to play politics on this most sensitive issue and wants to inflame passions. This is highly condemnable. Mr Bhagwant Mann will be directly responsible in case Bhai Rajoana proceeds on hunger strike tomorrow”.
Stating that the SAD delegation had sought permission to meet Bhai Rajoana following a directive given by Sri Akal Takth Sahib, Mr Majithia said “earlier the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) also met the Sikh prisoner as per the directive of the Takth”.
He said the SAD had also sought permission on the same grounds as the SGPC and the same was granted by the ADGP, Prisons but inexplicably barricades were put in front of the Central Jail here to thwart our visit”. He also detailed how the jail authorities had failed to give any satisfactory explanation as to why the meeting was not allowed even though they had the permission letter in person with them.
Both Mr Majithia and Mr Valtoha appealed to Bhai Rajoana that a conspiracy was afoot against him and that he should withdraw his decision to launch a hunger strike tomorrow. The leaders also in their message to the Sikh prisoner said the entire Sikh community was proud of him and would work as one to strive to ensure justice to him.
The leaders also castigated the central government for sitting on the mercy petition filed by the SGPC to facilitate the Sikh prisoner’s release. “We want to tell the centre that it is testing the patience of the Sikh quom and that it has gone back on its commitment to release all Sikh political prisoners including Bhai Rajoana on the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji in 2019.
Mr Majithia also made a scathing attack on the double standards of the AAP government vis a vis different prisoners. He said even as Bhai Rajoana was being discriminated against by being disallowed meetings, gangster Lawrence Bishnoi was extended VIP treatment and even provided with smart phones and special food.
“The nation also knows how former AAP minister Satyendra Jain was accorded masseurs and special food in jail in Delhi and how AAP legislator Jaswant Singh Gajjanmajra was shifted to jail immediately after being arrested by the Enforcement Directorate”. He said even AAP mp Sanjay Singh was accorded special privileges when brought to Amritsar to appear in a court case.
Mr Majithia also highlighted how both AAP governments in Punjab and Delhi were discriminating against Sikhs. He said Mr Bhagwant Mann has imposed NSA against Sikh youth and facilitated their imprisonment in Dibrugarh even as Mr Arvind Kejriwal was not signing the release orders of Prof Devinderpal Singh Bhullar. He said umpteen meetings of the Delhi Sentence Review Board had been held but the AAP government had prevented it from considering the release of Prof Bhullar.
The Akali leaders also asserted that it was reprehensible that while Bandi Singhs were being incarcerated for decades, the rapists of Bilkis Bano had been released and murder and rape convict Gurmeet Ram Raheem was accorded parole repeatedly.
Mr Majithia also outlined how former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had refused to implement the orders to hang Bhai Rajoana and had even met the then Prime Minister and the President to seek clemency for him. He said similarly the SGPC had fought the case for release of the Sikh prisoner in the Supreme Court.