NEW DELHI, Punjab—In support of old-aged Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa, thousands of Sikhs held an impressive demonstration at the Jantar-Mantar near Indian parliament seeking permanent release of political prisoners who have completed their terms.
A petition entitled “Sikhan Nu Es Desh Vich Insaaf Keon Nahi?” (Why is justice not being delivered to Sikhs in this country?) was also submitted to Indian parliament by the Sikh activists.
Early in the morning, Sikhs from Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and other states started to gather at the Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib in large numbers where they did Ardas before Guru Granth Sahib. They vowed to continue the struggle initiated by Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa. Afterwards, an impressive march was held from the Gurdwara to Jantar-Mantar where Sikh agitators staged a massive protest.
Members of Bandi Sikh Sangharsh Committee, umbrella organization of various Sikh bodies, led the protest which was addressed by representatives of Akali Dal (Amritsar), Akali Dal (Delhi), Akali Dal (1920), Ek Noor Khalsa Fauj, Akali Dal (Panch Pardhani), Dal Khalsa, Gurmat Sewa Lehar etc. Sikh journalist Jaspal Singh Heran, Baba Baljit Singh Daduwal, Bhai Dhian Singh Mand, Parmjit Singh Sarna, Jaskaran Singh Kahnsingh Wala, Bhai RP Singh, Parmjit Singh Sahauli, Gurinderpal Singh Dhanaula etc. were among those who addressed the rally. Pertinently, Aam Aadmi Party MP Dr. Dharamvir Gandhi also made his presence in the protest.
While addressing the protestors, the Sikh leaders said that their demand for the release of political prisoners is not against the interest of the country. Terming the struggle of Bapu Surat Singh as constitutional, they submitted a petition seeking a debate on the issue in the parliament. During the demonstration, a letter sent by Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara was read, wherein Bhai Hawara lauded Bapu Surat Singh and made appeal to the Sikh nation to unite on Sikh issues.
Sikh leaders said that 80 percent of sacrifices for the freedom of India were contributed by the Sikhs but the contemporary governments continued to harass the Sikhs. They questioned as to why Sikhs are being detained under TADA despite the fact that the draconian Act has been terminated.
They also criticized the government’s approach of arresting members of the Sangharsh Committee which was formed to assist Bapu Surat Singh. They asked the Government for which crime the committee members had been detained. Sikh activists expressed anger over the attitude of the main stream electronic media for ignoring the struggle of Bapu Surat Singh who is on fast unto death since January 16.
It is noteworthy that not a single leader of Shirmani Akali Dal (Badal) and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) participated in the protest. When Sikh activists performed ardas at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj, office bearers of DSGMC were present in the premises. Despite their earlier announcements in favour of Bapu Surat Singh, DSGMC members refused to make any arrangements of langar for Sikh Sangat at the Jantar-Mantar.