Six supporters of pro-Khalistan SFJ end hunger strike in jail

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Written by Divya Goyal | Ludhiana | Published: June 20, 2020 11:23:19 am

Referendum 2020, Referendum 2020 pro-khalistan supporters, khalistan members on hunger strike in jail, punjab news Arora said that these six inmates, who were booked for allegedly supporting ‘Referendum 2020’ backed by the SFJ, were shifted to Ludhiana jail some days back. (File/MEA)

Booked for supporting ‘Referendum 2020’ and outlawed pro-Khalistan outfit Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), six inmates of Ludhiana Central Jail on Friday ended their two-day hunger strike started in an attempt to push jail authorities to give in to their multiple demands. The strike ended after the jail administration allowed thrice a week visits to gurdwara inside jail and gave them a permission to speak to their family members using a fixed line phone. However, their other demands – including a television set inside jail, special cooked food from outside (not from jail) or grocery and utensils/gas stove to cook their own food and accommodation in common barracks instead of ‘Cell Block’ – were rejected.

The six inmates had presented their demands to the jail superintendent on Wednesday and started a hunger strike the same day.

“The demands of TV set, separate food from outside and lodging in common barracks have been denied…. Today, they agreed to have jail food,” said Rajiv Arora, Ludhiana Jail Superintendent.

Arora said that these six inmates, who were booked for allegedly supporting ‘Referendum 2020’ backed by the SFJ, were shifted to Ludhiana jail some days back. While three were shifted from Amritsar jail, rest came from Ferozepur jail.

“In Amritsar jail too they had created problems and started brainwashing other inmates. In Amritsar jail, they were lodged at common barracks where it was possible to interact with other inmates but here we have kept them inside a ‘Cell Block’. They cannot be allowed to mingle with other inmates. On Wednesday, they refused to eat food and said that they be provided with a TV set, separate food from outside or grocery so that they can cook their own food and that they be shifted to common barracks from the Cell block,” he said.

Arora added: “We have allowed their genuine demands including visit to jail gurdwara thrice a week and speaking to family members via landline but other demands such as TV and food from outside cannot be allowed. Also, they have to be in separate cells as per orders we have received,” said Arora.

Six inmates who went on hunger strike included Malkit Singh, Sukhraj Singh, Jagdev Singh, Kuldeep Singh, Dharminder Singh and Ravinder Singh. In the FIR registered against Sukhraj Singh, Malkit Singh and SFJ chief Gurpatwant Singh Pannu at Sultanwind police station dated October 19, 2018, they were booked under sedition charges and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for allegedly putting up posters of Referendum 2020 at public places in Amritsar.

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