azi Mizan: The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has launched a signature campaign for release of ‘Bandi Singhs’ (Sikh political prisoners). “People should know about Bandi Singhs, especially those who have completed their sentences and are still languishing in jails of different states”, Harjinder Singh Dhami, SGPC chief said. For the purpose, the Sikh body has set up centres at 25 gurdwaras in Punjab and Haryana, including the Golden Temple, Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib and Takht Sri Damdama Sahib.
In Amritsar, the signature campaign commenced from a centre set up near Sri Guru Ramdas Ji Niwas (inn) located on the Golden Temple complex. In Anandpur Sahib, the campaign was started from the Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib.The compaign was started in December,2022 and now over nine lakh people have signed for the release of ‘Bandi Singhs’. Besides Punjabi, the pro forma would also be published in English, Hindi and other regional languages. A form would also be uploaded on the SGPC’s portal for the masses. Dhami said the SGPC has been raising its voice for Bandi Singhs’ release for a long time.
The pro forma informs about the injustice being meted out to the Bandi Singhs and double standards adopted by respective governments, while giving relief to the assassins of former PM Rajiv Gandhi and Bilkis Bano rape case convicts.
“The police personnel who killed innocent Sikhs in fake encounters, too, were released by the CBI and courts. Bandi Singhs have no criminal background. It was the aftermath of Operation ‘Bluestar’ and the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that they took this path to get justice. Even after completing their sentences, they are not being released,” said Dhami.
He also announced a four-member panel comprising advocate Puran Singh Hundal, Paramjit Singh Thiara, Baldev Singh Dhillon and Bhagwant Singh Sialka, who would contest their cases.