Punjab releases ex-TADA terrorist on parole after protests

Written By kom nampultig on Sabtu, 21 Desember 2013 | 07.20

CHANDIGARH: Under-pressure, CM Parkash Singh Badal-led government in Punjab on Friday ordered the release of terrorist Lal Singh from the Nabha jail on a 45-day parole, a day after ex-CM Capt Amarinder Singh and the family of late Punjab CM Beant Singh endorsed fasting radical Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa's demand for freeing six Sikh prisoners lodged in various jails across the state.

The Punjab government maintained that no rules were being bent for the terrorist even as it expedited his parole that was due in February next year. Lal Singh has already been released on paroles for 20 times.

"No rules have been bent for him. He has been released only on a 45-day parole by our government after depositing a Rs 2-lakh bond with the Kapurthala deputy commissioner," Punjab Jail minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur told TOI.

Lal Singh, arrested under TADA in Gujarat in 1992 and convicted for transportation of weapons from Pakistan to India, was serving a life-imprisonment sentence since 21 years. He was transferred to Nabha Jail in 1997 as he and his family members had their permanent home in Punjab.

The minister also said that Lal Singh's permanent release would depend entirely on the Gujarat government as his conviction was upheld by a local court at Ahmedabad rural in Mirzapur in Gujarat.

The Akali Dal government had been facing a surging protest by Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, a former Sikh militant out on bail since 2010 and on hunger strike at Amb Sahib gurdwara in Mohali since November 16.

His fast that entered into its 36th day on Friday has brought Sikh hardliners into the limelight again.

Posters with quotes of former militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and others like Jagtar Singh Hawara and Paramjit Singh Bheora, also convicted in Beant Singh's assassination, are on display at the protest venue.

The six former militants in Khalsa's list include Lakhvinder Singh, Shamsher Singh and Gurmit Singh, who received life terms in 1995 for their involvement in the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.

The other three are Lal Singh, Warayam Singh and Gurdeep Singh, who were convicted for life under TADA.

On Thursday, ex-Punjab CM Beant Singh's grandson Gurkirat Kotli had said his family did not have any problems if the three militants were released.

The demand had also found a support from former Congress chief minister Amarinder Singh.

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