Amritsar, August 10
Former Cabinet minister in the UP government Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, who has claimed to have made concerted efforts to facilitate the release of TADA convict Bhai Waryam Singh from UP jail, has raised voice to support his family’s survival.
With the recommendations of then UP government led by Akhilesh Yadav, 70-year-old Sikh political prisoner Bhai Waryam Singh, a resident of Bari Bara village of Shahjahanpur constituency (UP), was released in 2015. He served 25 years and eight months in jail after he was held guilty in a case under TADA. Five years later, he died.
Though the SGPC, Sikh Federation, UK, and Guru Nanak Langar Sewa Society, Canada, had extended monetary help to the family, Ramoowalia said the family of Waryam Singh’s family lived in penury. “His family has schoolgoing grandchildren who have miniscule sources of income. I appeal to the Sikh community to help them out,” he said.
SGPC member Kiranjot Kaur, who also supported the cause and attended the press conference along with the deceased Waryam Singh’s daughter-in-law Sukhbir Kaur and granddaughter Simarjeet Kaur. She assured that she would take up the issue with the SGPC to help the family, especially the children’s education and their future prospects.
Amidst the politically-charged debate in Punjab about the release of Sikh political prisoners, Ramoowalia accused the SAD (Badal) of not raising the issue with its ally BJP ruling the Centre on the issue.
“Badals rather discouraged me from taking up the case of Waryam Singh’s release saying that it could not be matured till Home Ministry’s approval, yet I did not give up and made it possible through the UP government,” he said.
He urged the present state government led by Bhagwant Singh Mann to procure the file prepared by him from the UP government on the basis of which other political prisoners too could be released.
“I will also take up the issue of another Sikh political prisoner Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar whose release case was also in limbo,” he said.
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