Five Punjab Police personnel in jail to be released

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Five police personnel, who are undergoing life sentence for offences committed during militancy in Punjab, will be released from jails "on humanitarian and compassionate considerations" after the Centre approved a proposal of the Congress-led state government.

A senior official in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said the decision came a fortnight after the Union Home Ministry decided to release eight Sikh prisoners and commute the death sentence of another.

"The Government of India has accepted the request of the government of Punjab for grant of special remission and release of five Punjab Police personnel undergoing sentence in different jails in Punjab for offences committed during militancy period in Punjab," the official said.

The official said the decision is based on "humanitarian and compassionate considerations" and a communication to this effect was sent on Monday to the Punjab government for taking necessary action.

Last month, the MHA had announced that eight Sikh prisoners, lodged in different jails in the country for committing crimes during the militancy in Punjab. They would be released on the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev as a humanitarian gesture.

On the same day, it had also said it has decided to commute the death sentence of Balwant Singh Rajoana, who was convicted for the assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, to life imprisonment.

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