After serving a one-year sentence for a three-decade-old road rage case, Navjot Singh Sidhu, a former cricketer turned politician, was released from Patiala Jail on Saturday. He walked out of jail sporting a bright blue jacket and a smile. He dived straight into making comments about the political scenario in Punjab and India in quintessential dramatic style.
Sidhu wasted no time in hailing former Congress president and disqualified MP Rahul Gandhi being the face of the revolution that would challenge dictatorship in the country. “Whenever a dictatorship comes to this country, a revolution has also come, and this time, the name of that revolution is Rahul Gandhi. He will rattle the government,” Sidhu said shortly after his release from jail. Additionally, he alleged that a conspiracy is in progress to impose President’s rule in Punjab.
“There is no such thing as democracy right now. Conspiracy to bring President’s Rule in Punjab. Minorities being targeted. If you try to weaken Punjab, you will become weak?? I was supposed to be released around noon but they delayed it. They wanted the media people to leave,” he said.
Last year in May, the Congress leader was sentenced to a one-year imprisonment by the Supreme Court in a 1988 road rage case. The allegation against Sidhu was that he had physically assaulted Gurnam Singh, who later died in the hospital.
On Friday, Punjab Minister Brahm Shankar Jimpa stated that the state government did not oppose Navjot Singh Sidhu’s release, as it is the policy of the cabinet to approve the release of prisoners who have served their full sentence. “Those who have completed their sentence will be released,” added Jimpa.
The Supreme Court allowed the review application on the issue of sentence against Sidhu “We have allowed review application on the issue of sentence. In addition to the fine imposed, we impose a sentence of imprisonment of one year to be undergone by respondent Sidhu,” the court said. The order was delivered by a bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul. The case has gone through Sessions Court, High court and Supreme Court.