Jailed Er Rashid, Amritpal to take oath as LS members today


New Delhi/ Chandigarh: Jailed radical Sikh preacher Amritpal Singh and Kashmiri leader Sheikh Abdul Rashid are set to take oath as Lok Sabha members on Friday, subject to some conditions in their parole orders.
While Rashid, popularly known as Engineer Rashid, is in Delhi’s Tihar jail in a terror funding case registered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Singh is lodged in a prison in Assam’s Dibrugarh district for offences under the National Security Act.
Singh, 31, and Rashid, 56, won the recent Lok Sabha elections from Khadoor Sahib in Punjab and Baramulla in Jammu and Kashmir, respectively, as Independents while being incarcerated.
They could not take oath as members of the 18th Lok Sabha on June 24 and 25 along with the other winning candidates.
For taking oath, Rashid has been granted a two-hour custody parole, excluding the travel time from Tihar to Parliament, and Singh a four-day custody parole, beginning July 5, as he will be flown in from Assam to Delhi and back.
During their parole periods, they can neither speak to or address the media on any issue or make any statements. Their family members also cannot make a statement in any form of media, according to their respective orders.
While Singh, a Khalistani sympathiser who heads the ‘Waris Punjab De’ outfit, has been allowed to meet his family in Delhi, Rashid’s family can only attend his oath taking.
The parole for Rashid, who has been in jail since 2019 after his arrest in 2017, was granted by a court in Delhi and that of Singh by the district magistrate of Amritsar from where he was arrested in April 2023 for barging into a police station in February and clashing with police personnel in a bid to free one of his aides from custody.
Both Singh and Rashid accompanied by security personnel at all times during their parole periods.
Singh will “not enter the territorial jurisdiction of any place other than New Delhi during the period of temporary release”, his parole order stated.
“Amritpal Singh or any of his relatives shall not be permitted to videograph any statement of Amritpal and/or circulate any such statement in any electronic form,” according to the order.
He will also “refrain from doing any action or making any statement that is prejudicial to national security”, it stated .
“The relatives of Amritpal, as defined under Section 2 (c) of the Punjab Detenue (Condition of Detention) Order, 1981, shall be allowed to meet him during the period he is housed in New Delhi,” the order for Singh stated.
The Delhi Police and Punjab Police have been directed to coordinate with the secretary general of the Lok Sabha for procedures inside the Parliament complex.
The name of Rashid, a former MLA, cropped up during the investigation of Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Watali, who the NIA had arrested for allegedly funding terrorist groups and separatists in the Kashmir valley.
The NIA had filed a charge sheet against several individuals, including Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik, Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin in the case. Malik was awarded life imprisonment by a trial court in 2022 after he pleaded guilty to the charges.
Singh styled himself after slain Khalistani militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and is in jail along with nine of his associates under the National Security Act.
Besides them, TMC’s Shatrughan Sinha is also yet to be sworn in as member of the Lower of House of Parliament.

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