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Singh to talk to Badal over his plea for release of 13 terrorists

Recently, Badal had sent letters to his counterparts in five states — Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Gujarat requesting premature release of 13 convicted terrorists. A copy of letter was also sent to the MHA and Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and administrator of Chandigarh for their consideration.

Speaking to the media persons, the minister said, “I will talk to him on this issue.” He, however, refused to divulge anything else on the matter. It has been learnt that the demand for premature release was based on ‘humanitarian ground’, for their ‘good conduct’ and on ‘health issues’.

The Punjab government is currently ruled by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which is an ally of BJP and the demand has put the Centre in an embarrassing position.

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

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 operations 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.

Sources said, the initiative taken by the Punjab government came after a Punjab resident, Gurbax Singh Khalsa, went on a hunger strike in Ambala in November 2014 demanding the release of six prisoners, including those convicted in Beant Singh assassination case.

Khalsa reportedly broke his fast following promise of release of Lakhwinder, Shamsher and Gurmeet (who were subsequently released on 28 days parole from Burail jail in Chandigarh) and assurance by Akal Takht Jathedar Gurbachan Singh that he would take up the matter with the government.

Meanwhile, on the context of Coast Guard’s action against a ‘Pakistani boat’, Singh said, those travelling in the Pakistani vessel were suspected terrorists as per the ‘given circumstances’.

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