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Cong leader Navjot Sidhu being released from Jail tomorrow, says family

After spending about 10 months in Patiala’s central jail, Congress leader Navjot Sidhu is set to walk free on Saturday, according to his family and lawyer.

However, there is no official confirmation that the 59-year-old maverick politician is being released – an event that is bound to stir the Punjab unit of the Congress which was trounced by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the February 2022 state elections.

The former state Congress chief was jailed on May 20 last year, sentenced to one-year rigorous imprisonment by the Supreme Court over the death of 65-year-old Gurnam Singh in a road rage case in 1988.

According to his lawyer, the release is happening earlier due to Navjot Sidhu’s good conduct during imprisonment, as allowed under the rules.

A tweet from Navjot Sidhu’s account, being managed by his team in his absence, on Friday said, “This is to inform everyone that Sardar Navjot Singh Sidhu will be released from Patiala Jail tomorrow….As informed by the concerned authorities.”

Navjot Sidhu’s family has got an intimation from authorities regarding his release from the Patiala jail, his lawyer HPS Varma said on Friday.

The Congress leader’s son Karan Sidhu told reporters in Patiala that information regarding his release had been received from officials concerned. He said his father is expected to come out of prison on Saturday afternoon.

Several Congress leaders and Navjot Sidhu’s supporters are making preparations for giving him a grand welcome.

Congress leader and former MLA Navtej Singh Cheema said they will take Navjot Sidhu from the jail to his residence in Patiala after he is released. Leader of Opposition in the assembly Partap Singh Bajwa and party leader Laal Singh on Friday met Navjot Sidhu in the jail, he said.

Asked about Navjot Sidhu’s release from prison, Cabinet Minister Aman Arora told reporters here, “if his (jail) period is ending tomorrow then he will be released”.

His release is expected to come as a boost for the Punjab Congress, which has in the past several months seen exit of senior leaders, including Sunil Jakhar, and former ministers.

It is not clear what role the Congress will give the former cricketer once he is out of jail, ahead of the assembly elections, the party leadership had declared Charanjit Singh Channi as its chief ministerial face, ignoring Navjot Sidhu, who was the then party’s state president.

The party, however, failed to return to power in the state.

Navjot Sidhu’s wife, Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who had recently said that she has been diagnosed with stage two invasive cancer, also put out an emotional tweet on Friday.

She talked about “Navjot’s love for Punjab had driven him beyond the realm of any attachment”. Navjot Sidhu’s lawyer Varma said that “a convict with good behaviour is entitled for general remission of one day (Sunday) a week and it translates into 45 days of remission on March 31”.

He had also remained in jail for three days in 2007 in the same case. With this, he was eligible for the release on April 1, the lawyer said.

Ahead of Republic Day, there was speculation about Navjot Sidhu’s early release from jail, and at that time, several Congress leaders, including Shamsher Singh Dullo and Mohinder Singh Kaypee, targeted the AAP government for not granting special remission to him.


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