Chandigarh, September 28, 2019 (Yes Punjab News)
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sardar Sukhbir Singh Badal today expressed “profound gratitude” to the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah and to Govt at the centre on the whole for “commuting the death sentence of one Sikh prisoner into life sentence and releasing 8 others prematurely as a special humanitarian gesture from the NDA Government to coincide with the 550 Parkash Utsav of Shri Guru Nanak Devji .
“ Grateful as the Shiromani Akali Dal is to the PM, the HM and to the NDA government for heeding our repeated pleas in this regard, we are very sure that this is just the starting point of the process to the review and release of all Sikh prisoners who had either served their full term or had been forced into unlawfulness under extenuating religious and emotional circumstances.
This is a great beginning and I am sure that the statesmanlike vision with which this decisive humanitarian step has been taken will be carried forward to cover all the remaining cases that qualify for a similar dispensation,” said Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal in a statement here.
Mr Badal also requested the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister to continue this psychological initiative to heal the wounds of the Sikh community and to expeditiously release all other Sikh prisoners who have completed their sentence but are still languishing in various jails across the country. “I am sure the Government of India is already on the job and is in touch with several state governments where these prisoners are lodged,” said the Akali president.
Mr Badal said that the decision is a significant part of the process started by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to secure justice to the “brave and patriotic Sikh community”- a process which began with sending Sajjan Kumar behind the bars for his role in th massacre of thousands of innocent Sikhs by Congress goons in November 1984.
Mr Badal said that he was particularly grateful as this decision has been taken immediately after our last request to the Prime Minister in which I had pleaded that “the gesture would be a befitting tribute to the atmosphere of religious zeal and harmony generated by the 550th Parkash Utsav of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji.”
It may be recalled that Mr Badal had made this demand in a plea addressed to the Prime Minister and the Union Home minister last week. The Core Committee of the Shiromani Akali Dal had also passed several resolutions to make this demand, the latest being only ten days ago in Chandigarh.
Several delegations of the SAD, comprising senior leaders, have been meeting the representatives of the Union Government earlier also when Dr Manmohan Singh ji was the Prime Minister.
“It is a tribute to the spirit with which the SAD-BJP alliance partners have been trying to address the issues and halt h wounds of th Sikh community. As president of the SAD, I am truly beholden to my colleagues in the BJP for supporting our demand whole-heartedly.
It may not have been possible without the proactive role played by them in supporting our demand in this regard,” said Mr Badal in his statement.