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Sikh Octogenarian Back to Prison


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Sikh Octogenarian Back to Prison

By Sikh Sangat News

Aug 31, 2005, 04:30

Despite the promises of the Akali and Congress Governments of the times; Baba Gurdev Singh who is 85 years old will go back to prison (Nabha Jail) tommorow when he finshes his period of parole. The imprisonment sentence slapped on this innocent Sikh has been over long ago but he is still being held in prison for the reasons best known to the Government.

This is another blatant violation of Human Rights and daylight abuse of Sikhs by the present regime in India. It is worth mentioning here that Baba Gurdev Singh can hardly walk, has sore feet with open wounds, hard of hearing, very poor eyesight and suffers from diabetes.

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Khalsa Dal highlights plight of Sikhs languishing in jails

By SikhSangat News

Aug 7, 2005, 07:21

Aged 85, with an old senile body, a hunched back, suffering from diabetes, sore feet with open wounds and hard of hearing Baba Gurdev Singh from village Kaleke, Distt. Moga is languishing in jail sentenced to 135 years of imprisonment. His only fault is that his young son Bal Bahadar Singh deserted the Indian Army as he was emotionally depressed and upset by the happenings of 1984 when Indian Government attacked Siri Harimandir Sahib Amritsar.

The younger brother of Baba Gurdev Singh, Bhai Jora Singh (70) is also serving a life sentence in the Jail booked under the draconian law abbreviated as TADA, which stands for Terrorist And Disruptive Activities act. The fault of Bhai Jora Singh is that he had raised voice against the false cases filed against his elder brother Baba Gurdev Singh.

Talking to the press he said “The Punjab police has already killed my two sons and I don't know why they are keeping me in jail even after completion of my life sentence. I don't know what danger they have from an 85 year old who is suffering from so many ailments and is hard of hearing.â€

With tears in his eyes he continued “My younger son who left military was killed in a fake encounter by Punjab Police on 17 December 1987. After that all hell was let loose on my family. My elder son was killed by Punjab Police Cats (Kalian Bilian) and his dead body was thrown in the village to terrorize people.â€

He further narrated how he and his younger brother Bhai Jora Singh were brutally tortured by the police umpteen number of times and when nothing came out of interrogation they were booked under TADA and sent to High Security Nabha Jail.

Police brutality did not stop here. About 7 years ago Punjab Police picked up his third son, Kinder Singh. When the mother Bibi Surjit Kaur came to know of this she tried locating her son but failed to do so. She died of the shock of loosing her only remaining son.

Telling this horrific tale of brutality heaped on his innocent family his eyes were watery and throat lumpy, but he carried on. In 1989 when a police party was ruthlessly beating the brothers, his uncle objected to the actions of the police and asked them to stop. The police made his uncle a target as well and because of atrocious beating his uncle died overnight.

Baba Gurdev Singh said that he has come on parole for the 9th time and all his record during these 9 paroles is spotless but in police files he is still responsible for sedition, secessionist activities and a danger to the security of the country.

At one point in time there was a move to free all lifers above 60 years by Jail Minister Inderjit Singh Zira but the Punjab Police DSP Moga had scuttled the move by declaring that the release of TADA detainees will be a danger to the peace and security of the state.

Shiromani Khalsa Dal (SKD) held a press conference to highlight the plight of these Sikhs languishing in jails. SKD spokesperson Swaran Singh Khalsa said, "Eighty five-year-old Gurdev Singh, a resident of Kalke village near Moga was booked under TADA and has been languishing in jails for twelve-and-a-half years. We impress upon the government, especially in view of the announcements it made that it would release the sikh youth, that old sikhs like Gurdev Singh should be released immediately."

Bhai Swaran Singh Khalsa informed that this tale of Baba Gurdev Singh and Bhai Jora Singh is not a single instance but there are many such cases of blatant injustice and violation of human rights.

The Dal has prepared a list of such Sikhs who have been serving sentences for over a decade and jailed without any case or court hearings. These include Kuldip Singh (12yrs in jail), Gurnam Singh (13yrs in jail), Major Singh (15yrs in jail), Balbir Singh (12yrs in jail), Lal Singh Phagwara (13yrs in jail), Ravinder Singh Bittu (14yrs in jail), Daya Singh Fauji (12yrs in jail), Balraj Singh (12yrs in jail), and Sarabjit Singh (12yrs in jail).

These prisoners are not just at Nabha Jail but also all over India in places like Ambala Jail and Ratnagiri Special Jail. The leaders of the party also said that they would approach Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee president Paramjeet Singh Sarna to take up the matter with the Centre.

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