The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has decided to give Rs 20,000 per month as honorarium to nine Sikh prisoners serving long sentences in different jails across country. It was also decided to take up the issue of non-release of Sikh prisoners despite completion of their jail terms with the United Nations Organisation (UNO) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Speaking to the media after the meeting of SGPC Executive Committee (EC) on Friday in Amritsar, SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami said, “The government’s injustice towards Sikhs who have served jail terms for three decades is a major violation of human rights, and this will now be raised in international platforms. EC has also decided to give monthly honorarium of Rs 20,000 to nine Sikh prisoners who have served long sentences and legal assistance as required.”
The nine Sikh prisoners on the SGPC list include Gurdeep Singh Khera, Devinderpal Singh Bhullar, Balwant Singh Rajoana, Jagtar Singh Hawara, Jagtar Singh Tara, Lakhwinder Singh Lakha, Gurmeet Singh, Shamsher Singh and Paramjit Singh Bheora. Dhami added that Rajoana has already been given the honorarium.
“SGPC has stood with the cause since 1984 and will continue to do so. The signature campaign will be intensified and jathebandis, educational institutions, Singh Sabhas and people working for human rights will also be roped in for door-to-door campaigns,” Dhami said, adding that the SGPC and EC have also decided to file a writ petition in the high court against Dera Sirsa head Gurmeet Ram Rahim, who is convicted for murders and rapes, but is enjoying government patronage.
He added that the Haryana government’s move to invite Ram Rahim, who is a criminal on parole, as a state guest is a big insult to the judiciary. “Also, granting him repeated paroles and waiving sentence of 90 days is not acceptable in a civilised society. He has ongoing court proceedings in sacrilege cases against him so the possibility of him affecting these sensitive cases cannot be ruled out,” Dhami said.
Dhami added that in view of Panthic services of Maharaja Ripudaman Singh Nabha, his portrait will be displayed in the Central Sikh Museum.