Chandigarh, October 14
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has welcomed the Centre’s decision to release, on humanitarian grounds, five police personnel, languishing in various prisons of the state for human rights violations allegedly committed during the militancy period in Punjab.
Thanking Union Home Minister Amit Shah for the decision, the Chief Minister hoped that the central government would also give due cognizance to favourably consider his plea to release other cops whose release he had sought last month on humanitarian grounds.
Granting special remission and release of five of the around 20 personnel, the Union Home Minister has termed it a decision motivated by humanitarian and compassionate consideration. The decision comes within days of the central government’s announcement on grant of special dispensation for nine Sikh prisoners in various prisons in the country.
Captain Amarinder had written to Shah in September seeking the release of about 20 police personnel, pointing out that these men had acted while fighting terrorism, sponsored from across the border, in the interest of Punjab and the country. Some of these police personnel were, in fact, suffering from serious/terminal illnesses and deserved the Centre’s mercy, he added, pointing out that these men risked their lives during the dark days of terrorism for the nation, without any personal vested interest.
Most of the men whose release had been sought by the Chief Minister were are now at advanced ages.
The Chief Minister had further pointed out that around 1800 police officers of various ranks sacrificed themselves during the terrorism days, while fighting proxy war with terrorists to protect the unity and integrity of the country.