Qatar reprieve welcome but spare thought for Sikh detainees: SAD : The Tribune India

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Qatar reprieve welcome but spare thought for Sikh detainees: SAD

Qatar reprieve welcome but spare thought for Sikh detainees: SAD

SAD leader Virsa Singh Valtoha addresses mediapersons in Amritsar on Friday. Photo: Vishal Kumar



Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 29

Lauding the Union government’s proactive role in saving eight former Army personnel from the gallows in Qatar, SAD leader Virsa Singh Valtoha said the government at the Centre led by PM Modi should also do justice to the Sikh detainees.

Addressing mediapersons here on Friday, Valtoha said the government secured reprieve for the Navy personnel facing a death penalty in Qatar within two months. At the same time, respecting Sikh sentiments, it should initiate a dialogue to ensure the freedom of all Sikh detainees who had been languishing in prison for more than 27 years.

He said while the development in Qatar had brought cheer to the affected families and people at large, the Sikh community was perturbed as to why it was being discriminated against. “Justice should also be done with the Bandi Singhs,” he said.

Asserting that the Sikh community was asking for its rights while appealing for the release of Balwant Singh Rajoana and other Sikh detainees, Valtoha said, “Bhai Rajoana has been on death row for 17 years out of his 27 years of incarceration. The Union Government had even issued a notification to commute his death sentence as well as release all other Sikh detainees in 2019 on the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. The Sikh community has a right to ask why the notification has not been implemented,” he asserted.

Reacting to a query about Aam Aadmi Party Minister Laljit Bhullar’s demand for formation of a Maha Punjab, Valtoha said the minister was probably not aware of the sacrifices made by Punjabis for creation of a Punjabi Suba. He said the SAD had led the agitation and had made immense sacrifices to achieve the goal.

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