Bibi Jagir Kaur: Release 'Bandi Singhs' : The Tribune India

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Jalandhar Lok Sabha Bypoll

Bibi Jagir Kaur: Release 'Bandi Singhs'

Seeks pension for ex-servicemen, relief for ’84 victims from Centre

Bibi Jagir Kaur: Release 'Bandi Singhs'

SGPC former chief Bibi Jagir Kaur with BJP MP candidate Inder Iqbal Atwal at a funcation in Jalandhar on Friday. Sarabjit Singh



Tribune News Service

Aparna Banerji

Jalandhar, May 5

Former Akali leader and three- time SGPC president Jagir Kaur today extended support to the BJP ahead of the Jalandhar bypoll. The panthic leader sought a list of demands on the occasion for the Sikh community stating that she saw the possibility of addressing these simmering Sikhs issues under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Her demands included naming Indira Gandhi International Airport after Guru Tegh Bahadur, release of ‘Bandi Singhs’, shifting of prisoners kept in the Dibrugarh jail to Punjab (or Ambala), among others. While addressing a joint rally with BJP leaders today, she exhorted Vijay Rupani to assure her that the demands will be met. Kaur said she did not want any ‘kursi’ or ‘pardhani’ but redressal of issues by the Centre.

She also sought pension for Sikh ex-servicemen, compensation for the victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots, correction of Sikh facts in NCERT books, establishment of a university in the name of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur at New Delhi, among other demands. She also acknowleged Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt) president Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa’s work for the Sikhs.

BJP leader Vijay Rupani had met Bibi Jagir Kaur on April 30. During the meeting she had reportedly raised these pre-conditions for extending support to the saffron party in Punjab. She reiterated those demands today and wrote a letter to the Prime Minister about the same.

Kaur added, “The former dispensations have rubbed salt on Sikhs’ wounds. The honourable Prime Minister can do big things. He can open the Kartarpur Corridor, he has taken the historic step of naming Veer Bal Diwas to commemorate the sacrifice of the Chote Sahibzade, he can get cases and FIRs of 84 opened and get the likes of Sajjan Kumar punished. We can hope he will also punish the remaining, those who have destroyed the Sikhs.”

She further said, “Many ‘Bandi Singhs’ are in jails. Some with NSA imposed on them also are in jail. Law takes its course, I won’t interfere in it. I request the Centre to release Sikh prisoners, as many as you can. Not just Sikhs, but Muslims, Hindus, Christians who have completed sentences should be released. Some of those who have been kept in the Dibrugarh jail are from poor families. Rupani sahib, please request the PM that those in the Dibrugarh jail may be shifted to Punjab or at least Ambala. I would need your assurance on these, please pay heed to our sentiments, all these workers will support you.”

Senior BJP leaders Vijay Rupani, Jalandhar candidate Inder Iqbal Atwal, senior leader Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Sarabjit Makkar, Rajesh Bagha, Jagjit Singh Gabha among others were also present.

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