Biba Rajoana says Sikh detenues not against any religion, caste or region and had acted in a state of emotion for which they had completed their life sentences
Sangrur, June 9 – Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today appealed to Punjabis to shed all differences and give one chance to Bandi Singhs languishing in jails for more than two decades to be reunited with their families.
Addressing worker meetings in Bhadaur, Barnala, Mehal Kalan and Malerkotla, the SAD President said the SAD had decided to abide with the wishes of the Sri Akal Takth Sahib jathedar to field a family member of the Sikh detenues to send a strong message calling for the release of all detenues who were being detained in jail even after the completion of their life sentences. “Biba Kamaldeep Kaur Rajoana is a joint candidate of the SAD-BSP combine as well as that of panthic organizations’ ‘.
Asserting that the election would change the lives of Bandi Singhs as well as their families, Mr Sukhbir Badal urged everyone to come forward to support the candidature of Biba Rajoana. He also detailed how he had visited SAD (Amritsar) President Simranjit Singh Mann and appealed to him to support a candidate from among the families of Bandi Singhs. “I made this appeal because Mr Mann has also got freed from jail after he won the 1989 parliamentary election with a massive mandate. As he was the candidate of the community, we wanted to field a joint candidate. We even assured Mr Mann that the SAD would extend support to him in the 2024 parliamentary poll and that he should become part of the joint effort to field a candidate from the family of the Sikh detenues. “It is unfortunate that the SAD (Amritsar) leader did not accede to this request”, Mr Badal added.
The SAD President also related how the SAD had always stood in solidarity with the Sikh detenues. “Mr Parkash Singh Badal took a firm stand as chief minister and prevented Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana from being hanged. Similarly the SAD played the main role in commuting the sentence of Prof Devinderpal Singh Bhullar and also ensured his parole. However despite commutation of the sentence of Prof Bhullar and the clearance of his release from all official quarters, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has not signed the release papers since the last seven months”.
Mr Badal also spoke about the extreme conditions Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana was being kept in the Patiala central jail. He said Bhai Rajoana was kept in the ‘phansi chakki’ in an eight feet by eight feet cell and had not been even given the facility of parole which is given to all life convicts. “Bhai Rajoana has been in jail with parole for 28 years except for a few hours on his father’s death”.
Speaking on the occasion, Bhai Rajoana’s sister Biba Kamaldeep Rajoana made an emotional plea to Punjabis to help her in effort to get the Sikh detenues freed. She said the Sikh detenues were not against any religion, caste or region but had acted in an emotional state of mind for which they had completed their life sentences. “We must all unite to ensure their freedom”, she added.
Others present at the worker meetings included Janmeja Singh Sekhon, Sikander Singh Maluka, Hira Singh Gabria, Jagmet Singh Brar, Virsa Singh Valtoha, Karnail Singh Peermohammad, Tirath Singh Mahla, Darshan Singh Kotfatta and Barjinder Singh Brar.