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Washington: The ‘Sikhs of America’ has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release all Sikhs who are languishing in Indian jails for more than 30 years.

In a letter to Modi, the Sikhs of America urged the prime minister to set up a committee to look into the issue and also to find out how many such Sikhs are languishing in prisons. Many of these Sikhs are in jails despite having completed their court mandate, it alleged.

By some accounts their number is close to 800, claimed the letter submitted to visiting External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar at an event here on Sunday.

“In 80s and 90s, most of them committed political-driven crimes in Punjab in a militant environment which was created by the Congress. They were booked under TADA and other anti-terrorist draconian laws of the Congress regime,” it alleged.

“Every year different political parties bring this issue up, to get votes and manipulate the masses,” said the letter signed by Jasdip Singh, chairman of Sikhs of America and its president Kamaljit Singh Soni.

The Sikhs of America urged the prime minister to “form a committee to investigate” this issue and ascertain the number of “Bandi Sikhs” in different jails.

Noting that the government led by Prime Minister Modi has celebrated the sacrifices of the Sikhs and Sikh Gurus on numerous occasions, the Sikhs of America wrote, “In this spirit, we request you to please give clemency and pardon to these Bandi Sikhs who are languishing in jails for more than 30 years.”

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