SIKH ACTIVIST Surat Singh Khalsa (82), who has been on hunger strike for over two years now, voted on Saturday. Khalsa has been demanding the release of Sikh prisoners from jails across the country. He started his hunger strike on January 15, 2015. Since then, he has been hospitalised several times. On Saturday, Khalsa was taken from hospital to poll booth in Hassanpur village of Dakha constituency in Ludhiana by ambulance amid police security after he expressed his wish to vote.
Ravi Bhagat, deputy commissioner-cum-chief election officer of Ludhiana, said, “Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa is admitted to hospital as he has not recovered yet. As he expressed his wish to vote, we made all arrangements, including ambulance, emergency nursing staff and police cover. Since it was our duty to facilitate each voter who wanted to vote, we made all these arrangements after he told us his wish.”
At loggerheads with the SAD-BJP government, Khalsa’s son had announced that his father would not eat anything till all the prisoners named on the list submitted by them were released. After Khalsa began fasting, militants, including Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar, a 1993 Delhi blast convict, and Gurdeep Singh Khaira, a Bidar blast convict, were given parole.