Akalis trying to cash in on Bhullar's parole issue

Akalis trying to cash in on Bhullar's parole issue

Firecrackers were lit and sweets distributed in village Dyalpura Bhaika in Punjab’s Bathinda district as a mark of celebration soon after former Khalistani terrorist, Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar, walked out of a Punjab jail on a 21-day parole a couple of days ago.

A convict in the 1993 blast case, Bhullar’s native village is Dyalpura, where he grew up as a child and completed his schooling. Bhullar’s ancestral house in the village was opened and spruced up in anticipation of his visit. A Sukhmani Sahib Path (religious prayer as per Sikh rituals) was also held inside the house.

Another former militant, Gurdeep Singh Khera, who was recently relocated from a Karnataka jail to another jail in Punjab, too was granted a three-week parole a couple of days ago after decades behind bars.

The move to grant parole to former militants is being alleged as an attempt by the ruling Badal government in Punjab to reclaim some of the lost Panthic ground ahead of elections.

Punjab witnessed a series of incidents of sacrilege of the Holy Guru Grant Sahib in recent months that put this border state on the boil.

Sikh organisations and hardliners were unhappy over the alleged failure of the government to prevent such incidents.

As the issue of parole to former militants assumes political colour, Union Minister and MP from Punjab Harsimrat Kaur, who is the daughter-in-law of CM Parkash Singh Badal, has stirred a new controversy of sorts seeking to declassify all files relating to Operation Blue Star in 1984.

The military operation was undertaken to flush out militants from the sacred Golden Temple in Amritsar.

 The grant of parole to two former Khalistani militants has triggered a reaction from the Congress which has slammed the ruling government for being allegedly soft on militants.

Elsewhere in Bhullar’s alma mater- Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College (GNDEC) in Ludhiana from where he graduated as a mechanical engineer and even worked as a professor before turning into a militant - his colleagues and friends still remember him as an intelligent soft spoken person.

For some time now, the political landscape in Punjab is witnessing a movement of sorts for release of certain former militants who have been languishing in various jails across the nation for several decades.  Ever since January 1 last year, Sikh activist Surat Singh Khalsa is on a hunger strike seeking the release of over a dozen such militants in jails.

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