Dibrugarh: Pro-Khalistan self-styled preacher and ‘Waris Punjab De’ head Amritpal Singh, who is lodged along with nine others at the Dibrugarh Central Jail in Upper Assam, are on hunger strike.
According to a report, Kirandeep Kaur, Amritpal’s wife said all the 10 ‘Waris Punjab De’ members were on hunger strike against the poor facilities in the jail.
Kaur said she got to know about the protest during her weekly visit to meet Amritpal Singh in the jail.
Amritpal Singh was arrested under the National Security Act (NSA) by the Punjab Police on April 23, and was lodged at the high-security Dibrugarh Central Jail.
Kirandeep Kaur, a UK national, claimed that the NSA detainees, including her husband, were not given permission to make phone calls and were being served unhygienic food in the jail.
Kaur alleged that the cooks in the jail consume tobacco, which is against the Sikh Rehat Maryada (code of religious conduct).
She also accused the Punjab government of not allowing the 10 NSA detainees to make phone calls to their families and their lawyers.
Kaur claimed if the NSA detainees are allowed to make calls, the family members will be able to save Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000 for the expenses they incur to travel to all the way to Dibrugarh.
However officials at the Central Jail in Dibrugarh are tight lipped about the report of the 10 NSA detainees from Punjab staging hunger strike. There are reports that Amritpal Singh skipped 4-5 meals last week complaining about poor quality of food served to him.
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee member and advocate Bhagwant Singh Sialka acknowledged that he was aware of the NSA detainees’ intention to start a hunger strike in the jail.
Declaring that she would join her husband in the hunger strike, Kiranpreet also highlighted the language barrier, with the jail administration, claiming that they didn’t understand what the detainees from Punjab were saying.
Kaur said the lack of communication was primarily because of the absence of an interpreter, who could bridge the gap between the detainees and the jail authorities.