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A Ludhiana TADA court in 2012, sentenced 12 Sikhs to undergo ten years imprisonment each, in the famous Ludhiana bank robbery case. Due to the incompetence of the Indian judicial system, it took more than 25 years for the trial to reach it’s conclusion as the incident dated back to 1987 when Rs60 million was reportedly stolen from the Miller Gunj branch of the Punjab National Bank, in what was then called, India’s largest bank robbery. 

The lengthy court case was fraught with discrepancies which were 'overlooked' by the judge who also gave little regard to the fact that some of the accused were alleged to have played a large part in the robbery while others were said to have played a lesser role. In a move that shocked all who value human rights, Judge Sunil Arora handed out 10 year prison sentences to all 12 Sikhs who ranged from 47 years to 93 years old. It’s widely believed to be a decision pronounced on political consideration, as the persons were sentenced due to their political ideology favouring self-determination for the Sikhs, especially as the charges in the case were brought under the secretive and highly condemned, Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act.

Amongst the 12 who were convicted was Gurjant Singh, who is now 74 years old. Recently, he returned home from Nabha Maximum Security prison, on a 28 day parole period and our Sikh Relief team went to meet him at his home. Gurjant Singh remains in high spirits, but expressed concern about his deteriorating sight due to the poor health of his eyes. Without delay, our volunteer Sarbpreet Singh, arranged for a check-up at the Guru Ramdas Hospital in Amritsar. The doctors advised him to have an operation on his next parole period in 6 months time. Sikh Relief is committed to the emotional, physical and financial well-being of Bhai Gurjant Singh and with your support we will fund the full cost of his eye treatment.

An atrocity in the name of justice was committed against our respected Sikh elders who at the end of their lives have been unjustly labelled ‘terrorists’ and are having to endure the harsh reality of India’s prisons. We salute their strength and courage while dealing with brutality and pray that Waheguru keeps them in chardi kala!

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