For 45yearold Simranjit Singh Mann, his election to the Lok Sabha last month, securing the highest number of votes in Punjab, also marks his first foray into politics, A dismissed officer of the IPS, Mr. Mann was in jail facing trial in connection with the Indira Gandhi assassination conspiracy case when he was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Tarn Tarah constituency.

Mr. Mann, who became President of the Unified Akali Dal while still behind bars, was born ‘on May 20, 1944, at Shimla. He is the youngest son of Mr Joginder Singh, a former Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha.

After partition the family shifted from Qila Harnam Singh village in Sheikhupura district of Pakistan to Talanian village near Fatehgarh Sahib in Patiala district. After his preliminary education in Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, Mr. Mann joined government College, Chandigarh, He was a brilliant student,

After doing his MA he competed for the IPS, got the fourth position in the country and was allocated to Punjab. Married to Geetinder Kaur, daughter of Mr Gian Singh Kahlon, a former Chief Secretary to the Punjab Government, Mr Mann has one son and two daughters.

As SSP of Faridkot, he came in contact with Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Later he was transferred as AIG, Railways, and shifted to Bombay as Commandant of the Industrial Security Force. In the wake of Operation Bluestar, he wrote an emotional letter of protest to Giani Zail Singh on June 18, 1984, and submitted his resignation. He was, however, dismissed from service. Later he went underground. He was arrested on November 27, 1984, and lodged in the Bhagalpur jail in Bihar.

Article extracted from this publication >> January 5, 1990