SGPC and other Sikh Organizations coming forward for the release of Sikh Prisoners
With the righteous and joint efforts of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Harjinder Singh Dhami has formed a nine member committee to help release the Bandhi Singhs (Sikh Prisoners). The following committee has been put into force for the exoneration of Sikh Prisoners including Jagtar Singh Hawara, Balwant Singh Rajoana and Davinderpal Singh Bhullar. The members that have been added into the committee are as SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) President Simranjit Singh Mann, Head of Damdami Taksal Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa on behalf of Sant Samaj, head of Tarna Dal Harian Vela Baba Nihal Singh on behalf of Nihang organizations. Along with Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) President Harmeet Singh Kalka, Shiromani Akali Dal-Delhi President and former DSGMC chiefs Paramjit Singh Sarna, Manjit Singh GK and Sikh Preacher Baljit Singh Daduwal. Also, the SGPC President further adds that the suggestions received from Sikh organizations will be respected and the committee will be expanded, if need be. The first meeting of the new formed committee will be held at the SGPC office in Amritsar on May 19. The Bandhi Singhs (Sikh Prisoners) had been kept behind bars for a very long time and there has been no justice provided to them as well as their families. However, no justified answers had been given by the Central and the State Government till now. Countless efforts and meetings had taken place but the prisoners never received the deserved justice.
The hunger strike of Baba Surat Singh began on 16th January, 2015 (still ongoing) to seek the release of the Sikh Political Leaders who have completed their jail terms. A number of prisoners have been rotting into the prisons even after completing their court sentences.
Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, an Indian Activist started a hunger strike in November 2013 that continued for 44 days, when Giani Gurbachan Singh (Akal Thakat Jathedar) asked to take the case to the State Government. But still no Sikh was released leading to Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa to restart his strike and received the contribution of various other Sikh bodies and a number of Punjabi singers, actors and other artists. The second hunger strike continued for 64 days and moreover, he jumped off the water tank leading to his death on 20 March 2018 while demanding release of Sikh prisoners that included Jagtar Singh Hawara, Balwant Singh Rajoana and Davinderpal Singh Bhullar. The arrested Sikhs have been imprisoned due to the Nirankari Kand 1978 that occurred due to the clash between Sant Nirankari Mission and traditional Sikhs at Amritsar, Punjab. The incident resulted in the murder of 12 to 13 sikhs.These clashes gave rise to the Blue Star Operation in 1984 which took place in order to remove Damdami Taksal, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and their followers from the buildings of the Golden Temple. The launch of the operation was headed by the then Prime Minister of India, then Indira Gandhi in June 1984. The Indian Security Officers started the firings on various buildings,leading to numerous deaths. The operation took place for the next 5 months. Thereafter, on 3
1st October, 1984 Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her two Sikh bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh in exchange of revenge. This further resulted in the Anti Sikh Riots all over the nation leading to uncountable deaths and imprisonment of innocent Sikhs. An innumerable times, the voices to justify freedom of the Bandhi Singhs have been raised in order to release the senior citizens on humanitarian grounds. Therefore, the combined efforts of the committee and other Sikh Organizations may be a great help for the Sikh Community along with the Bandhi Singhs and their families.