Qaumi Insaaf Morcha holds protest at Ladhowal toll plaza : The Tribune India

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Qaumi Insaaf Morcha holds protest at Ladhowal toll plaza

Seeks release of Sikh prisoners, justice for ex-Akal Takht jathedar

Qaumi Insaaf Morcha holds protest at Ladhowal toll plaza

Protesters at the Ladhowal toll plaza in Ludhiana. HIMANSHU MAHAJAN



Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20

Demanding the release of Bandhi Singhs (Sikh prisoners) who are languishing in jails even after completing their sentences, members of the Qaumi Insaaf Morcha, along with different farmers and other organisations, staged a protest at the Ladhowal toll plaza on the Delhi-Amritsar road here on Saturday.

The protesters also sought justice for former Akal Takht acting jathedar Gurdev Singh Kaunke, who was allegedly murdered by police officials around three decades ago.

They made the toll plaza, on the National Highway-44, toll-free for commuters during the protest, which was also supported by members of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar Fateh). Harinder Singh of the SAD (Amritsar Fateh) said they, along with farmers’ unions, staged a protest at the toll plaza for the immediate release of Sikh prisoners who have completed their jail terms. He mentioned that despite years of repeated demands, the government had not released Sikh prisoners who had already served their sentences. In contrast, controversial Sirsa dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was serving a sentence on charges of murder and rape, was being given repeated paroles, he said.

The protesters started gathering at the toll plaza around 10 am and continued the protest till 2 pm. Industrialist Tarun Jain Bawa said the Qaumi Insaaf Morcha staged protests at 20 sites in the state, demanding the release of Sikh prisoners. Highways were made toll-free during the protests. He emphasised that Sikh prisoners who had completed their sentences should be released at the earliest. Additionally, they were seeking justice for former Akal Takht acting jathedar Gurdev Singh Kaunke, with a demand for punishment for police officials involved in his murder, he added.

It is essential to mention that various organisations have been staging protests and raising demands before the Centre and state governments for the early release of the Sikh prisoners for a long time. They question why, when the Sikh prisoners had already completed their sentences, they were still lodged in jails.

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