A 49-year old Sikh farmer, a civil rights activist, Mr. Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa is on a hunger strike unto death, in India for the release of seven Sikh political prisoners who have completed their jail sentence along time back but are still languishing in prisons.
Today, the hunger strike enters Day 56. It began on Nov 14, 2014.
Blogger Gurmeet Kaur, who have been giving a blow-by-blow daily update on the hunger strike, is concerned about the lack of publicity surrounding the hunger strike.
“This year the media and the government are paying no attention to him. His body has entered the final stage of starvation,” she says.
This was the first line of her Jan 5 entry: Day #53 – Bhai Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa is going through a lot of pain due to starvation and ketoacidosis (his body feeding on its own organs).
Mr. Khalsa has been conducting his nonviolent protest, his hunger strike in Gurudwara, Lakhnaur Sahib, Ambala, in the state of Haryana his native town. He is demanding the release of political prisoners who have already served their jail terms–all of the seven prisoners he has focused on (lifers; including one whose capital punishment has finally been commuted to life after 19 years) have served the minimum mandatory of 14 years and most of them are being held without parole for over 20 years. (In India, most life term convicts are granted early release after serving minimum mandatory 14 years in prison).
However, since, there has been little movement on addressing the issue of all the prisoners he has called attention to, in any permanent way. Khalsa is now, thus, fasting unto death–a strike he resumed on the one year anniversary of his 2013 strike.
In an earlier posting, she notes that each of the Sikh Political Prisoners whose release is being sought was an educated and contributing member of the society – who was either forced to take an action against the state in response to the June or Nov. 1984 genocide of the Sikhs or were framed by the government as anti-national element in a major setup.
To read one example, see this story at Sikh Chic.
Gurmit has requested the masses to help in sharing the cause on social media. You can view her Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/gurmeet.kaur.7140497