(New York, USA) December 4, 2013

Gurbaksh Singh, a sikh rights activist is fasting unto death since November 14, 2013 at Gurdwara Amb Sahib, Ajitgarh Mohali to seek release of five Sikhs prisoners who are not being released despite serving the terms of their prison sentences. The undaunted fearless man is seeking release for Gurmit Singh, Shamsher Singh, Lakhwinder Singh (confirmed in Burrail Jail, Chandigarh since 1995), Lal Singh (who was arrested in 1992 by Gujrat police and is currently in jail Nabha) and Gurdip Singh (confined in Gurbarg Jail of Karnataka for last 23 years).

Gurbaksh Singh is raising his voice for all Sikh prisoners who are still incarcerated after completing their sentence.  When all the means of achieving justice were exhausted, Gurbaksh Singh was compelled to take this action. He is of the view that until Indian government releases all the Five prisoners, he will continue to fast–until- death for their freedom.

According to the latest updates, Gurbaksh Singh’s health condition has started to deteriorate and he has lost weight in last 24 hours. Irrespective of his dropping health, this brave Sikh is determined to continue this mission till the concerned Sikhs are released. Voices for Freedom is shocked that the sacrifice and efforts of this brave man are not being acknowledged or noticed by the Indian government or by the Indian media.

Extra-judicial killings, arbitrary executions or enforced disappearances are often talked about but all those turban men who are languishing in the jails of Punjab and other states of India are often forgotten.  Voices for Freedom appreciates the courage of Gurbaksh Singh and supports him on his mission to achieve justice for prisoners.

It is not the case of these five Sikhsbut the plight of thousands of Sikhs who remain to be behind the bars and continue to struggle for their release. Gurbaksh Singh is fighting for those who have served their complete imprisonment; there are a number of those who are just waiting for their fate to decide their future.

Detaining dozens of turban men for self-created investigations has been a routine matter in early 80s and 90s. even now after a certain period of time, a wave of detention heaves up and throws tens of Sikhs behind the bars. Some remain lucky enough to be released after torturous investigations, some fall prey to enforced disappearances or abductions and remaining get drowned in the jails.

Prof. Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar is one such example who even after having to go through a torturous incarceration, does not know about his climax. Facing death penalty for an unproven crime has turned into an unending imprisonment.

Balwant Singh Rajoana may be another instance of hundreds of such cases who don’t know that they would take their last breath on gallows or would embrace the natural death.

Commenting on Gurbaksh Singh’s stance,  Director Voices for Freedom, SudipMinhas said that the recent brave step of Gurbaksh Singh may be an eye-opener for many of those who feel that “raising the slogans of the biggest democracy may abolish the stains of discrimination denial of justice and oppression”.

Thus VFF gives a wake up call to the slogan raisers of human rights and invites them to stand for the Human Rights of Sikh prisoners in India. Our efforts might be a sigh of relief and ray of hope for those families who don’t know whether their dear ones would ever be with them or their remaining life is mere lamentation.

Issued by

Jaspreet Kaur

Legal Fellow

Voices for Freedom (VFF)



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