As the Punjab and Uttar Pradesh governments conceded the demands of various Sikh organisations, the issue of release of former militants who have completed their terms is likely to be resolved soon.
According to Harpal Singh Cheema of the Sikhs for Human Rights, who is among those championing the cause of the former militants, the Deputy Commissioner of Chandigarh has signed the document for the release on parole of Shamsher Singh, Lakhwinder Singh and Gurmeet Singh, who were awarded life sentence in the Beant Singh assassination case. The Chief Minister was killed in a blast on August 31, 1995.
Mr. Cheema said representatives of Sikh organisations were in Lucknow to press the Uttar Pradesh government for the premature release of Waryam Singh, who has been in jail for 23 years after his conviction under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, which the Centre allowed to lapse in 1995 after allegations of abuse.
The Punjab government has already granted parole to Lal Singh, who was arrested and convicted in Gujarat, but was shifted to the Nabha high security jail.
Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa began his fast at the Amb Sahib Gurdwara, Mohali, demanding that the release of these five militants and Balbir Singh, who has been lodged in a Karnataka jail after his conviction 23 years ago.