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Punjab ‘seeks’ release of 13 captives, some accused of being terrorists

Though, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has not confirmed any such request from the Punjab government but well-placed sources have confirmed that a request

letter has been sent to the MHA to release them on “humanitarian ground”, for their “good conduct” and on “health ground”.

Those in the list include, Daya Singh Lahoria, an activist of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), who is presently lodged in Tihar Jail. The others are Jagtar Singh Hawara, Paramjeet Singh Bheora, Subedh Singh, Nand Singh and Gurmeet Singh alias Fauzi.

It has been learnt that Daya Singh is ill since the past few weeks and suffered serious infection, while health condition of Jagtar Singh Hawara, lodged in Tihar Jail, too has deteriorated severely in past few days.

Paramjeet Singh Bheora, who used to head Babbar Khalsa International operation in India, is also reported to be in the list of Punjab government for his release. In March 2006, Paramjeet was arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi police. Then, a huge quantity of arms and ammunition has been recovered from them. He was also involved in the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.

Recently, on August 18, 2014, the pre-mature release of life-convict Gurmeet Singh, alias Pinki, an alleged terrorist-turned-commando-turned cop, in the murder case of Avtar Singh, alias Gola, of Ludhiana has created a controversy after lawyers questioned the legality of the release. His release came after Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil issued the orders after the state Cabinet recommended the case to him. Pinki had pleaded mercy on the basis of good conduct.

Facing flak from opposition leaders Punjab government defended the release of Pinki on the grounds that he was covered under policy for premature release of convicts.

An official statement of Punjab government reads, “Taking cognisance of the recent media reports about the pre-mature release of Gurmeet Singh alias Pinki by the Punjab Government, an official spokesperson has clarified that on pre-mature release of life-convicts, the State Government has already framed a policy on April 04, 2013”.

It further reads, “Those male adults who were convicted for murder and have been given lifer and have completed 10 years of actual imprisonment, can apply for release. On such application, recommendations of concerned deputy commissioner, police chief of the District and Gram Panchayat are sought and if the case is recommended, then it is further processed. If any such application by the concerned convict is found as per policy of pre-mature release, the same is recommended by Home (Jails) Department to Governor and once the approval of governor is granted, on such approval any convict is released.”

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