CHANDIGARH:The Punjab Police with the CRPF help forcibly entered the house of Sikh activist Surat Singh Khalsa, 80, of Hasanpur village near Ludhiana on Monday and tried to convince him to break his fast.
Surat is on an indefinite hunger strike since January demanding the release of Sikh prisoners who are in jail even after serving their terms. The police had rounded up all the radical elements supporting Surat on Sunday and Monday.
Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal and Ludhiana (Rural) Superintendent of Police Ravcharan Brar along with at least 50 policemen entered Surat’s house to convince him to break his fast, but the activist, his daughter and son reportedly barricaded themselves with a few other villagers in a portion of the house.
An uneasy calm prevailed in the village, a day after the police’s statewide crackdown on Sikh hardliners, in which they took more than 10 radical leaders into preventive custody. The crackdown, which left a Deputy Superintendent of Police injured in Ajnala near Amritsar on Sunday, was largely peaceful and conducted to prevent hardliners from taking out marches seeking release of Sikh prisoners from jails.
The police set up checkpoints around Hasanpur, where the CRPF personnel have been deployed since Sunday to prevent entry of Surat’s supporters into the village.
Surat’s hunger strike had forced the government to fast-track the shifting of Sikh prisoners, including Devinderpal Singh Bhullar and Gurdeep Singh Khera, from other states to Punjab.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said the SAD-BJP Government was making all-out efforts within the parameters of law to ensure release of Sikh prisoners languishing in jails across the country.