RSS-Affiliate Supports Centre’s Decisions Related To Sikhs

NEW DELHI – The RSS-affiliate Rashtriya Sikh Sangat on Wednesday supported the Union government’s decision of releasing of Sikh prisoners in connection with crimes during militancy in Punjab and scrapping of the Union Home Ministry’s “Black List”.


It also justified the decision to commute the death sentence of Babbar Khalsa terrorist Balwant Singh Rajoana for his role in assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.


“These should be seen as government’s goodwill gestures and were much desired,” said Rashtriya Sikh Sangat’s national president Gurcharan Singh Gill.


“In the context of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the decisions should be all the more welcomed,” Gill added.


The Sangat sees the decisions in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for “Sab ka sath, sab ka vishwas”.


It has been in the forefront of the campaign with the Centre since 2001 for scrapping the Black List and for release of prisoners since 2014.


“Punjab militancy is now a thing of the past. Sikhs residing abroad had indulged in agitation, like sloganeering outside the embassies in their countries, during militancy, were also named in the list,” Gill said.


The Sangat reasoned that it is prudent to allow their emotional connect with motherland and allow them to be part of India’s mainstream.


Due to their names in the list they were debarred from entering India.


With regard to the release of prisoners, the Sangat said those charged under the draconian TADA and had been in prison for more than 20 years and are more than 65 years should be released on humanitarian grounds.


With regard to reported objection of grandson of Beant Singh against decision to commute Rajoana’s death sentence, Gill said the Sangat empathises with sensibilities of the family.


“But the government and state-craft needs has large sense of responsibility,” he said.


Responding to a specific question, he said the government is competent to commute the sentence on its own because any consent is not a pre-condition.


He said Sangat has lined up various programmes relating to Guru Nanak Dev’s 550th birth anniversary celebrations.


He urged groups and organisations of Sikhs not to portray an impression as if Guru belonged only to the community.


He belonged to the humanity and his universal humanism must be propagated world-wide, he said.

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