PATIALA: After being denied permission and a venue to restart his hunger strike in Punjab ruled by SAD-BJP, Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa began fast-unto-death in BJP-ruled Haryana near Ambala on Friday. Khalsa, who is demanding permanent release of seven former, including three assassins of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, began his protest at Gurdwara Lakhnaur Sahib on the outskirts of Ambala City.
Besides six militants, whose release he demanded during his 44-day hunger strike in November-December 2013, Khalsa has also included the name of death row convict Devenderpal Singh Bhullar in the list.
“Yes, Gurbaksh Singh has relaunched his protest today at Gurdwara Lakhnaur Sahib, demanding release of six prisoners. He has chosen this site as he was not allowed to sit on protest anywhere in Punjab,” said his aide Gurpyar Singh, who responded to the calls made on Khalsa’s phone.
Khalsa has restarted his agitation a year after he sat on fast-unto-death in November 2013 raising a similar demand at Gurdwara Amb Sahib, Mohali. His Gandhian way of protest caught attention of entire Sikh community.
Succumbing to the mounting pressure following his protest, the Punjab government had then facilitated granting of parole to three of Beant Singh’s assassin who were lodged at Burail jail in Chandigarh
Since then, Khalsa has been insisting on his demand of permanent release of all six Sikhs and threatened to start his protest again. His never materialized as no gurdwara management in Punjab allowed him to use its premises as the protest venue.
“A gurdwara in Jalandhar district agreed to give us the venue, but Jalandhar district administration prevented us to relaunch the protest”, said Gurpiyar.