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Recently an eleven-member committee for release of Sikh prisoners was constituted by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on the direction of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib which was widely praised by the Sikh Community worldwide.

In this Committee, apart from the Head of Damdami Taksal Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa and Head of Nihag Singh Tarna Dal Haria Velan Baba Nihal Singh, SGPC President Advocate Harjinder Singh Dhami, President of Political party Shiromani Akali Dal Sukhbir Singh Badal, President of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) Simranjeet Singh Mann, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) President Harmeet Singh Kalka, former Presidents Paramjit Singh Sarna, Manjit Singh G.K. and Sikh preacher Baljit Singh Daduwal were included, whereas two more members Avtar Singh Hit, President of Takhat Sri Patna Sahib and Bhupinder Singh Minhas, President of Managing Committee of Takhat Sri Hazur Sahib were also included later in this Committee.

Although some members are connected with different political parties, a ray of hope for release of the Sikh prisoners was felt due to their unification.

However, some controversy erupted during the first meeting itself due to which no further advancement in the matter was seen. Where a protest was raised against Sukhbir Singh Badal due to his political status, questions were also raised against Takhat Patna Sahib President Avtar Singh Hit due to some other reasons.

It is pertinent to mention that during meeting of this Committee held in the 3rd week of May 2022, some vital decisions were taken which include fixing of meeting with the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister within 15 days to press release of Sikh prisoners, to expedite process of release of Bhai Gurdeep Singh Khera and Devinderpal Singh Bhullar with the Chief Ministers of Karnataka and Delhi respectively, constitution of an advisory Committee of retired judges of Supreme Court and High Courts, formation of other required sub-committee and to get detailed reports about the Sikh Prisoners lodged in different jails in India who have completed their sentence but have not been released so far. But due to the rift amongst the members of this Committee, no report regarding any concrete action was received so far through a period of more than one month has elapsed.

It is also a result of the mutual conflict in the Committee that whereas the Shiromani Akali Dal fielded Bibi Kamaldeep Kaur, sister of Sikh prisoner Balwant Singh Rajoana as its candidate for Punjab’s Sangrur district parliamentary bye-election slated for June 23, 2022, one of the main member of the said eleven members Committee Simranjeet Singh Mann also stood as a rival candidate against her on behalf of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar).


Now it has to be seen where Simranjeet Singh Mann will leave no stone unturned to campaign against his rival candidate Bibi Kamaldeep Kaur but side by side how Mr Mann will work wholeheartedly for the release of her Sikh prisoner brother.

It is also worthwhile to mention that in the recent past Shiromani Akali Dal fielded former SGPC President Bibi Jagir Kaur from Punjab’s Khandur Sahib Parliamentary elections against Bibi Paramjit Kaur Khalra, widow of Jaswant Singh Khalra, Human Rights activist. Apart from these, whether Congress minded former DSGMC President Paramjit Singh Sarna and other Akali and B.J.P. related members of this 11 members Committee will dare to shun their party ideology and take independent decisions ?


How does Mr Sarna work along Sukhbir Singh Badal when Badal family is accused by him for decades as main culprits in the desecration of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, Bargadi incidents, relation with Baba Ram Rahim and other charges of corruption ? By sharing stages whether Mr Sarna has given clean chits to Manjit Singh G.K. and Avtar Singh Hit earlier declared as most corrupt persons.

It appears that there is some hidden motive in this so-called unification because these parties having different ideologies cannot come out of their personal agenda.

About the author:
Inder Mohan Singh

Inder Mohan Singh Inder Mohan Singh, an expert in Delhi Gurdwara elections is a member of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee. While in government service with the Delhi government he was behind the conduct of Gurdwara body polls from 1977 to 2006. He takes active part in religious deliberations in the Delhi Gurdwara body.

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