Bhai Gurbaksh Singh is fasting until death to seek the release of six Sikh political prisoners from Indians prisons, who despite completing their 18 years jail sentences, have not been released. Three of the Sikh prisoners, Bhai Gurmeet Singh and Bhai Lakhwinder Singh havve been in Burail Jail in Chandigarh, Panjab, since 1995. Bhai Laal Singh has been Nabha Jail in Panjab since 1992 and Bhai Gurdeep Singh has been in Gulbarga Jail in Karnataka since 1990. Bhai Gurbaksh Singh's hunger strike has awoken the Sikh nation and highlighted the going discrimination against Sikhs, like other ethnic minorities, by the Indian state.
Bhai Sahib has been on hunger strike until death since 14th November, at Gurdwara Amb Sahib in Mohali. The majority of Sikh political and religious groups, organizations and leaders have visited Bhai Gurbaksh Singh on his public hunger strike and shown solidarity. This undoubtedly has made the authorities and State feel uneasy, and therefore it not surprising that last night Bhai Gurbaksh Singh was arrested and his companions staying around him during the hunger strike were beaten.
Some of the Sikhs staying with Bhai Sahib recognised that a group of 40-50 people in civilian dress, some who looked visibly drunk, were police personnel. The group attacked the Sikhs as they were outnumbered by the police agents as most of the sangat from the march have returned home. Two of Bhai Gurbaksh Singh’s companions were beaten up and had their dastaars (turbans) removed by the police.
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The police arrested Bhai Gurbaksh Singh and he was disgracefully taken to Phase 6 Civil Hospital in Chandigarh. It is most likely that the police will subject him to force feeding in the wake of his continuing hunger strike for the last 22 days. It is claimed that Bhai Sahib is now in Ropar Jail. However, the Khalsa Spirit cannot be destroyed. As soon as Bhai Sahib was disgracefully removed, Bibi Manjit Kaur jee from Bhai Fauja Singh Trust took his place and resumed the hungerstrike herself.
Furthermore, yesterday a Khalsa march took place from Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Amritsar, to Gurdwara Amb Sahib in Mohali. Ardaas was performed at Sri Akal Takht Sahib before the Sikh Sangat led by Panj Piaare set off for Mohali. As the Sikhs walked outside of Sri Harimandir Sahib, the police had put up barricades to prevent the peaceful protest march and then went on to remove the dastaar (turban) of one of the Panj Piaare and arresting Sikh political leaders.
No mainstream Indian news channel or newspaper has reported these injustices. Nor has BBC, ITV or any other mainstream Western media reported on this news. Why is the world silent?
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