Chandigarh — The Punjab Government has asked the district authorities in the state to ensure security of the released Akali leaders.

The directive, reportedly sent on Monday night after the release was ordered, did not stipulate provision of armed bodyguards obviously because the Akali leaders in the past had refused to accept the government bodyguards after some of them had  received threats of activists. The government’s directive apparently stems from the apprehension that elements opposed to the Akali leaders might pose a security problem for them. Recently, at the Hola Mohalla at Anandpur Sahib some prominent Akali leaders were virtually forced to leave the stage by the angry youth among the audience.

The eight senior Akali leaders set free on the orders of the Union Government on Tuesday reached their respective destinations in Punjab.

Rival Akali Dal faction leader, Mr. Jagdev Singh Talwandi, who was released from the Ambala district jail in Haryana on Monday night, reached Amritsar on Tuesday afternoon and, made it clear in his first public announcement that there could be no talks with the Centre until it accepted the controversial Anandpur Sahib resolution.

Former minister, Mr. Atma Singh, and two Akali Dal Vice Presidents Mr. Ujagar Singh Sekhwan, who were released from Amritsar jail, have reached their respective villages in Kapurthala and Gurdaspur districts, Mr. Balbir Singh Brar and Mr. Randhir Singh Cheema were freed from Ferozepur and Patiala jails respectively on Tuesday morning.

Mr. Cheema later visited the Golden Temple complex along with Mr. Talwandi and offered prayers.

Article extracted from this publication >>  March 29, 1985