A Hindustan Times report has revealed that Professor Bhullar maybe released from jail in as little as two months. The report cites Jasdev Singh Rai as the key negotiator with the Indian national security advisor Ajit Doval over several key issues concerning the Sikh community worldwide.
Some of the issues that were discussed in prior meetings was the release of Sikh political prisoners, removal of ‘black lists’, and Akal Takht and Sri Harmandar Sahib’s sovereignty.
If followed through, the talks would be considered a major breakthrough following 31 years of of “Standoff” between Sikhs and the Indian state.
The Hindustan reported cited:
Rai, director of the Sikh Human Rights group, said, “He (Doval) reiterated that steps were being taken to release political prisoners. Some of them had already been released. However, the release has to go through proper channels, such as courts and other administrative procedures. This sometimes takes time.”
Rai said, “There are some 42 prisoners now. Of these, some expected to be released soon are Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar (in custody since 1995) and Gurdeep Singh Khera (in custody since 1990).”
Modi had promised to take down the so-called ‘blacklist’ that includes individuals who were involved in the Khalistan movement, and are unable to get Indian visas (many of them reportedly hold non-Indian citizenships).
“Doval said he had instructed embassies across the world, especially in Europe, to take down the local lists, while those on the lists made by central agencies of India were being taken down as soon as possible. The government is going through these lists, reviewing them and taking them down,” Rai said.
“It is hoped that the next meeting will be soon after the release of Bhullar,” Rai said.
Reportedly, a delegation of Sikhs will meet with Doval arranged by Rai to further the talks with the Indian State and various officials from different departments.
Read the full report: Hindustan Times