THE World Sikh Organization of Canada has written to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling for the release of Sikh prisoners who have served their minimum mandatory sentences in Indian prisons.
Sikh activist Bhai Gurbaksh Singh has been on a hunger strike at Lakhnaur Sahib in Haryana since November 14 to draw attention to this issue. He had undertaken a similar hunger strike last year.
As Gurbaksh Singh’s hunger strike continues, his health has reached a critical stage and WSO President Dr. Amritpal Singh Shergill has called on Modi to work towards the release of the Sikh prisoners, some of whom have been held for well over 20 years.
Shergill wrote, “The Sikh community in India, Canada and across the world is deeply troubled by the deteriorating health of Bhai Gurbaksh Singh and trusts that you will take prompt action to release these Sikh prisoners who have completed their minimum sentences.”
Shergill said the release of the Sikh prisoners would be an important confidence building measure with the Sikh community who continue to feel the trauma of the events of 1984, for which the perpetrators have still not been brought to justice.
The WSO said it prays for the health of Gurbaksh Singh and calls on the Indian authorities to immediately accept his reasonable demands. Sikh prisoners who have served their minimum mandatory sentences must be treated like other inmates in the Indian system and allowed the opportunity to return to their families and rebuild their lives.