According to a recent tweet Navjot Singh Sidhu, a former cricketer and now a political leader in Punjab, will speak to the press outside the prison after being released from Patiala jail today.
Sidhu had been incarcerated for 10 months due to a fatal road rage incident that occurred 34 years ago. He had previously announced his upcoming release on Friday via Twitter, after being notified by relevant authorities.
Karan Sidhu, the son of Mr. Sidhu, expressed dissatisfaction with the delay in his father’s release, stating that they have been waiting outside the jail for over eight hours.
He voiced concerns about the frequent hour-long delays being communicated by the jail authorities, which were creating doubts in his mind. He speculated that the delay may be due to political motives or media attention, even though the authorities had confirmed his father’s release.
Outside the Patiala jail, Mr. Sidhu’s supporters, including Congress leaders and ‘Dhol’ players, have assembled to give him a grand welcome upon release, which they likened to a festival.
Mr. Sidhu’s supporters have put up posters and hoardings in various locations across Patiala to welcome him. According to PTI, the people of Punjab are eagerly waiting for his release, as stated by Congress leader and former MLA Navtej Singh Cheema.
Mr. Sidhu was sentenced to one year in prison for a road rage incident and was scheduled to be released in May. However, due to his good behavior, he is being released early. His lawyer, HPS Verma, informed NDTV that Mr. Sidhu is being released under the state’s general remission policy. Mr. Verma explained that since all Sunday holidays are deducted from the sentence period for well-behaved prisoners, Mr. Sidhu is receiving a 48-day remission, leading to his early release.
In May, last year, the Supreme Court ordered a one-year “rigorous imprisonment” for the 59-year-old politician, Navjot Sidhu, following a petition by the family of a man who died after a brawl with Mr. Sidhu and his friend in 1988. The family had requested a more severe sentence and a review of a 2018 Supreme Court verdict acquitting him of murder.
The incident occurred on December 27, 1988, when Mr. Sidhu engaged in a dispute with Gurnam Singh, a 65-year-old resident of Patiala, over a parking space. Mr. Sidhu and his friend, Rupinder Singh Sandhu, allegedly pulled Gurnam Singh out of his car and physically assaulted him. Gurnam Singh later died in a hospital.
An eyewitness claimed that Mr. Sidhu killed Gurnam Singh with a blow to the head.
In 2018, the Supreme Court had ordered Mr. Sidhu to pay a fine of ₹1,000 for voluntarily causing harm to a person. However, upon reviewing their previous ruling, the court deemed it “appropriate” to sentence Mr. Sidhu to imprisonment, stating that “aggravated culpability” must be attributed if a person dies.