Father of the suspect arrested for his alleged links with Canada-based Khalistani groups says his son should be given another chance since he himself had stood up against terrorism during the troubled days in Punjab. Mann Singh, a resident of Simrai village near Batala town of Gurdaspur district, was arrested Sunday for his alleged involvement in terror-related activities.
Mann’s father Deep Singh, a prominent leader of Tarna Dal, said, “It is good that Mann Singh has been arrested at an early stage. He was not involved in any serious crime. He has been arrested before he could fall into some serious problem. Government should show a soft corner towards Mann Singh because it is possible he was lured into such activities by some anti-social elements. Government should give him a second chance considering the past of my family.”
Deep Singh claims to be the head of married volunteers of Tarna Dal, a known traditional body of Nahings. He lives in Simrai village along with his two sons. Deep Singh claims his son Mann Singh was not under his control and had been living separately with his wife and three sons in the same house. “He does not listen to me. We came to know about his arrest only from journalists,” he said.
“I used to speak against Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale from stages at the time when he was alive. I always opposed his violent activities,” claimed Deep Singh.
“I saved a police inspector, Madan Singh, from Sikh militants in 1978. There have been many occasions when I used by licensed arms to save lives of people from Khalistani militants. I have records of all such incidents.”
“I also fought against Ajit Singh Phoola, who was a terror in the region. In fact, Phoola had kidnapped Mann Singh at very early age. He wanted him to be in his group. But somehow I managed to free Mann Singh. Phoola committed many atrocities on people and I contested cases against him in courts,” claims Deep Singh.
“I even met Captain Amarinder Singh several times when he was chief minister during from 2002 to 2007. I convinced him to send Ajit Singh Phoola behind bars. Later, he was killed in jail. I am still a party in many cases against Ajit Singh Phoola’s men.”
“I went to Canada in 2008 because some groups over there wanted me to explain my fight against Ajit Singh Phoola. It also helped Mann Singh to visit Canada in 2012. It is possible that he came into contact of Khalistani elements during his visit. He never discussed anything like this with me. Otherwise, I would had never allowed him to fall into such trap,” Deep Singh says.
“The government should consider past of my family before taking any decision on Mann Singh. He has been arrested before any crime
was committed. So he should be given another chance,” the father said.