SGPC protests for release of Bandi Singhs at DC offices in Punjab

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) today expressed community’s resentment by holding protests outside offices of Deputy Commissioners (DC) in Punjab, demanding release of Bandi Singhs (Sikh political prisoners).

In these protests held at district headquarters, SGPC members and officials participated wearing black robes and shackles with representatives of several Panthic bodies.

SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami led the protest outside Amritsar DC office, where several SGPC members and Panthic personalities were also present. Earlier, a gathering was held at Gurdwara Saragarhi Sahib, from where, a march amid slogans for release of Bandi Singhs reached office of Amritsar DC. SGPC President marched in an open four-wheel vehicle while SGPC employees on two-wheelers.

In their addresses during protest outside DC office different speakers criticised discriminatory policy being adopted by Central and State Governments regarding release of Bandi Singhs and gave message of intensifying struggle if the Panthic (of Sikh community’s) voice is not heard.

In his address, SGPC President said that the country’s law is equal for everyone and Constitution also gives the right to equality, but sadly the governments are not doing justice in the issue of releasing Bandi Singhs.

He said that any crime has its prescribed punishment, which Bandi Singhs have completed. “But the governments are deliberately depriving the Sikh prisoners of their rights, who took steps due to circumstances of that time. Release of Bandi Singhs is an important issue of the Sikh panth and the struggle will be fought at all levels for this rightful demand. Therefore, even if sacrifice is required, we will not back down”, said he.

He said that a gathering of retired Sikh judges and senior lawyers has been called at Chandigarh on September 17 to discuss the legal aspects along with continuing the intense protest movement. This gathering is very important and human rights advocates can join it to give valuable suggestions.

Talking about the outline of the future struggle, SGPC President said that the Sikh community will no longer remain silent and a signature campaign will be started soon under the next phase. He also appealed to the Panthic personalities and organisations working for the release of the Bandi Singhs to come together to struggle under leadership of Supreme Sikh body SGPC. On this occasion, SGPC President also highlighted the injustice being done to the minority Sikhs across the country and asked the Central Government to take necessary steps to stop the discrimination against the Sikhs.