Former militant rallies for peace in state
Tribune News Service
Demonstration was held here on Wednesday evening. It was led by Ranjit Singh Gill alias Kuki, a former militant convicted for the murder of Lalit Makan and his wife and sentenced to life.
He is on interim bail and his appeal against the sentence is pending in the Delhi High Court. Intellectuals also participated in the demonstration for peace.
Talking to The Tribune Kuki said, since he had seen the dark period of militancy in Punjab from the closest possible quarters he knew where the passions could lead the state. He observed, there was no alternative to peace and it should be maintained at all costs. About the ongoing row between Akal Takht and the Dera Sacha Sauda, Kuki warned almost similar situation had led Punjab to a catastrophe that cost lives of thousands of people and most of them in the prime of their youth. He himself happens to be the victims of that phase. "Let us not create a similar situation", he warned, adding, "even a spark, if neglected, can burn the entire house".
Kuki said, he had realised it the hard way. "Religious passions drive you mad and even the best of education is no defence against it", he said, maintaining the best solution to any problem is through dialogue only. "Nobody can feel it better than I as I have myself felt such passions at certain period of time only to realise later that these are always dangerous and disastrous", he remarked.
Son of Khem Singh Gill, a former vice- chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, Kuki holds a masters degree in plant sciences.
As a student he was brilliant. He makes his point well. It was in the aftermath of Operation Blue Star and the anti- Sikh violence in Delhi following the assassination of Indira Gandhi that drew him towards militancy.
He spent 15 years in the United States of America and 13 of these in US prison. The government of India had lost the extradition case and he could conveniently stay back in the USA.
However, he preferred to come to India and face the law of the land. He has been convicted of murder and sentenced to life. Since he has already spent so much time in jail he has been pleading for relief. He was granted interim bail three and a half years ago.
His appeal against the life sentence is pending in the Delhi High Court. Even Avantika Makhan, daughter of Makhan couple, has supported his plea for pardon. In fact she came here to attend his marriage a couple of years ago.