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  1. AMRITSAR SAHIB — On Sunday 30th November, led by Bhai Amritpal Singh, Bhai Bagicha Singh Waraich, Jujhar Singh (Son of Bhai Khalsa), Bhai Major Singh, Bhai Hakam Singh and other Gursikhs, a large number of Sikhs held an Accountability Procession from Gurdwara Lakhnaur Sahib, Ambala to Sri Akal Takht Sahib Sri Amritsar Sahib with the aim to make Giani Gurbachan Singh, appointed Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib, accountable on the promise of ensuring the permanent release of Sikh political prisoners made by him during the hunger strike by Bhai Gurbakhash Singh Khalsa. In the absence of the appointed Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib himself, leaders of the procession submitted memorandum to his personal assistant Bhai Bhupinder Singh. The memorandum reminds him that “in November, 2013, the Sikh nation held a large scale agitation led by Bhai Gurbakhsh Singh Khalsa for the release of Sikh political prisoners who have completed their Jail terms. Jathedar had ended the protest by making the assurance that he would get the prisoners released permanently. Those Sikhs who were released on parole have returned to Jails and two Sikhs were not even given parole release. Now, the Khalsa Panth reminds you that you are accountable for the release of Sikh detainees.” Prior to this, the Sikhs also held a procession from Bhai Gurdas Hall, Amritsar to Sri Akal Takht Sahib raising slogans demanding the Jathedar to deliver on his promise made during last protest. The Sikh Sangat from Haryana were welcomed in Amritsar by International Sikh Organization State President Kanwarbir Singh, Gurmanjit Singh, Bikram Singh and others. Source: http://singhstation.net/2014/12/sikh-detainees-freedom-march-memorandum-submitted-akal-takht-sahib-jathedar/
  2. The Punjab BJP & AAP has extended full support to the second hunger strike called by Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, who has been fasting at Lakhnaur Sahib Gurdwara in Ambala for five days. Punjab BJP spokesperson RP Singh Maini, who met Bhai Gurbaksh Singh at Lakhnaur Sahib, said as the Akalis had distanced themselves from the issues raised by the Sikh activist, the BJP had come forward to support him in his struggle to get Sikh prisoners, who had completed their term, released. Maini said Punjab BJP chief Kamal Sharma had also spoken to Bhai Gurbaksh Singh over the phone, assuring him that the matter would be taken up with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. After the Punjab BJP, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has also extended its support to the campaign of Bhai Gurbakhash Singh Khalsa. Punjab convener of AAP, Sucha Singh Chhotepur, on Saturday and expressed solidarity with the cause. The AAP leader asked Bhai Gurbaksh Singh about his health and expressed his support to the campaign in its every aspect. Chottepur later also posted about Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa on his Facebook account. Speaking to The Tribune, Bhai Gurbaksh Singh said in the last 10 months, he had met the Akal Takht jathedar eight times, seeking release of Sikh prisoners as was promised by him when he had ended his hunger strike at Mohali last year. But the jathedar had remained cynical to the demands, he said. He said now he had pinned hope on the BJP governments in Haryana and the Centre. He said a delegation of Sikhs from the state would meet the Ambala Deputy Commissioner tomorrow and submit a memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee, highlighting the plight of Sikhs prisoners in jails. Source: http://singhstation.net/2014/11/bjp-aap-extends-support-bhai-gurbakhash-singh-khalsa/
  3. AMBALA – Almost a year later, Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa has relaunched his protest as of 15th November at Gurdwara Lakhnaur Sahib in Ambala demanding release of six Sikh political prisoners who have already completed their prison term. After being denied permission and a venue to restart his hunger strike in Punjab ruled by SAD-BJP, Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa began fast-unto-death in BJP-ruled Haryana near Ambala on Friday. Besides the six Sikh political prisoners, whose release he demanded during his 44-day hunger strike in November-December 2013, Khalsa has also included the name of Bhai Devenderpal Singh Bhullar in the list Source: http://singhstation.net/2014/11/bhai-gurbaksh-singh-goes-die-protest-sikh-political-prisoners/
  4. Sikh Organisation For Prisoners Welfare (SOPW) Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa’s peaceful campaign has led to the start of a process to release six long-serving Sikh political prisoners, by securing their release on parole. He played his part in awakening the wider public to the ongoing injustices against Sikhs in India. As part of this movement we saw people from all over the world, raising awareness and taking part in hunger strikes, including five Singh’s who spent five bitterly cold days and nights, outside the Indian Embassy in London. For over five years, SOPW has been committed to the welfare of all Sikh political prisoners. This process consists of the following steps: - Once we identify a prisoner, we immediately take care of his or her basic needs, eg. food, clothes, toiletries, books, magazines and newspapers, to make prison life a little easier. - We talk to them to find out who they have left behind in their family; elderly parents with no other support, a family member in need of medical attention, their children whose education is interrupted, a sibling who is due to be married and of course, their family home which may be in need of urgent repairs. Our fieldworkers remain in regular contact with the prisoner as well as his/her family; providing advice, support and financial aid. - Often, we find that the Sikhs had inadequate legal representation, with the lawyers taking the money but not getting the results. So we hire the best legal team for them, personally monitor the court case, cover the necessary bail bonds and other hidden costs involved in getting the prisoner released. Financing the lawyers makes up a large part of our costs as some cases need to be taken all the way to High Court and even Supreme Court level, where the expertise of just one lawyer can cost upwards of £10,000. - Our support does not stop upon release. We run a rehabilitation programme; which provides the means for self-sufficiency, so that they can support their own family and rebuild their lives with dignity after decades in Indian jails. Our philosophy is to “thrive, not just survive”. We have tried our best to support these prisoners through all of the above stages. The SOPW team feel it is in keeping with our religious and moral duty to support these Singh’s as they taste freedom for the first time in many years. We have also been inundated with messages from the worldwide Sangat, who wish to see these Singh’s supported. IN KEEPING WITH SOPW AND THE SANGAT’S WISHES, WE HUMBLY ANNOUNCE A REHABILITATION PACKAGE OF 500,000 Rs (over £5,000) TO EACH OF THE FOLLOWING SIX; Gurmeet Singh Shamsher Singh Lakhwinder Singh Lal Singh Varyam Singh Gurdeep Singh Khera They will be starting their lives again from the beginning, after spending over 18 years behind bars – a time during which the world has changed. We are not giving these brave Singh’s a handout. United, we the Sikh Nation, are paying back the debt to those who stood up against an oppressive State system and brought to an end the mindless killing of thousands of our innocent Sikh youth. We have the following nominated volunteers around the global Sikh community, who have put themselves forward for this project and will assist you with your enquiries: SOPW (UK)-0300 999 0187 INDIA: BHAI RAJINDER PAL SINGH-0091 935 772 3874 USA: BHAI BALBIR SINGH (CHICAGO)-001 937 776 3358 CANADA: BHAI AVTAR SINGH-001 778 846 8419 ITALY: BHAI JASVIR SINGH-0039 3899 838 761 OR BHAI SATNAM SINGH-0039 3332 110 444 SPAIN: BHAI GAGANDEEP SINGH-0034 600 772 727 OR BHAI LABH SINGH 0034 632 136 018 GERMANY: BHAI GURPAL SINGH ‘PALA’-0049 1762 1695 928 HOLLAND: BHAI HARJIT SINGH-0031 620 682 862 OR BHAI BALHAAR SINGH-0031 653 835 018 FRANCE: BHAI SATNAM SINGH ‘GATKA’-0033 628 232 936 SWEDEN: BHAI RAMANDEEP SINGH-004 687 249 058 If you, the Sangat, wish to contribute to this seva, here are the following ways you can donate: FROM OVERSEAS: International IBAN no: GB75MIDL40421341572733 Swift/BIC code: MIDLGB2155M FROM THE UK: Bank: HSBC Account Number: 41572733 Sort Code:40-42-13 You can send a cheque, made payable to SOPW, PO Box 690, Southall, Middlesex UB1 9QL. To donate online: www.justgiving.com/SOPW Or visit our website to make a donation:www.prisonerwelfare.org
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