Out of all the Cats hired by the government to malign the Sikh freedom movement and kill the Sikh fighters, Ajit Poohla in the disguise of a Nihung from Majha is the most vicious, corrupt and an unjust person.
Poohla's father's name was Nahar Singh Naamdhari. Poohla's name was Jaswinder Singh. While studying at a government college in Ludhiana, Jaswinder was known as a good fighter and had used his thug tactics in the college to place fear into other students. In 1981, while gambling, his group had a fight over 14,000 rupees. His four mates - Susheel Kumar, Rakaish Kumar, Satpal and Susheel Kumar (another one) - jointly fired bullets at a person named Gurcharan Singh while under the influence of liquor. Gurcharan Singh escaped but a person walking was injured. A case was filed against Jaswinder and his mates. The other three culprits were caught but Jaswinder managed to escape. He was wanted by the police. Jaswinder went to a Kahnay nihung. Other party found out and told the police. However, Kahnay talked to SSP D. R. Bhatti and had the file closed. Jaswinder was now Ajit Poohla or nihung.
During the times when Baba Bishan Singh was the head of Tarna Dal, a corrupt and misbehaved person Kahan Singh, usually referred to as Kahna by the people, was kicked out of the jatha. Kahna moved to Khadur Sahib and established his residence there. Being a corrupt person, he would keep all of the money donated to the Gurdwara Sahib by the public and spend it on his personal errands. One time the donation was so small that he became enraged and blamed Sant Jarnail Singh Ji by making insulting remarks about him. One of close companions of Sant Jarnail Singh Ji, Bhai Sukhdev Singh Sakheera, was present there and engaged in an argument with Kahna. Bhai Sukhdev Singh did not do anything and left but after a few days Kahna was killed. After Kahna's death, Ajit Poohla took over the group and became the next leader.
Beginning of Criminality
In 1985, Poohla and his group first went to a house of Nihung Gajjan Singh, resident of SurSingh. According to the mother of Gajjan Singh, Poohla and his group ate all of their chickens and drank alcohol everyday. They spent so much money on hospitality of Poohla and his group that they almost went bankrupt. Finally, mother of Gajjan Singh asked him to kick out Poohla and his group. Gajjan Singh was afraid of Poohla and could not be straight forward with him. So he advised Poohla to take over the local historic Gurdwara and make it his residence. Poohla liked this advice and soon took over the Gurdwara which was in village Poohla. For this reason Ajit Sinh got the nickname of 'Poohla'. He also threatened the management committee of the Gurdwara to leave. Poohla knew that Gajjan Singh was aware of his activities and what methods he had used to take over the Gurdwara. So to eliminate any evidence against him, Poohla killed Gajjan Singh. Just a few years ago, after two decades, the family of Gajjan Singh started to raise their voice and is now asking for justice. The Gurdwara had 20 acres of land and had large amount of money donated by the people every week. This turned Poohla to a filthy rich man. His group membership increased to 40 and he bought numerous brand new cars and jeeps. To satisfy their greed, this group started to increase their activities in other areas as well.
Poohla frequently visited other Nihung deras and took any useful person with him. He talked nicely and lovingly to persuade people to come with him. Swaranjit Singh's father was a nihung with the Buddha Dal. A nihung named Santokh Singh from Sultanpur Lodhi sang praises of Poohla and influenced Swaranjit Singh to meet Ajit Poohla. Swaranjit Singh lived at a Gurudwara in a village named Kohaarh Kalan with his family. Poohla came to the village one day and stayed overnight. In the early morning, before Sunrise, Poohla woke up and saw Swaranjit Singh doing Paath and Kirtan. Poohla didn't have anyone in his Dal with these capabilities. His Dal was full of people who were drug addicts and didn't follow any part of Sikhism. He convinced Swaranjit Singh and his family to come with him to a Gurudwara located in Sector 39-C in Chandigarh. Swaranjit Singh was very useful to him because he did not take any drugs and was Metric pass in English. Poohla made Swaranjit Singh his personal assistant.
On the other hand when Swaranjit Singh saw Poohla's real image, he was shocked. Poohla drank every-night in the basements of various forts. He drank around one liter of liquor every day. Then he played music on a deck and started dancing. He also brought a eunuch names Lavli with him and made her dance with her. Then after some time, he went behind closed doors with her.
Poohla not only committed adultery with eunuchs but he placed his hands on every woman or girl he came into contact with. Swaranjit Singh decided to run away from him but he soon found out that leaving Poohla's gang was as same as calling death. Nihung Thaan Singh, son of Bhai Kapoor Singh, wanted to leave Poohla's group and asked for permission. It is a tradition that Nihungs have to ask their leader before leaving them. When Poohla was asked for permission, Poohla replied, "Ya! He wants to leave, send him to the future".
So Thaan Singh was beaten up and then burned alive at dera Jhootha in Kartarpur. Same thing happened to one of his companions named Savinder Singh. He also wanted to leave Poohla. Savinder Singh, also called Thattha Fauji, was from a village named Reaali Bhangali. A hymn singer named Gurdial Singh was also killed as he was handed over to police officer Paramraj Umranangal.
Joining the Cats
During the government of Barnala in Punjab, Poohla was hired as a Cat under the command of S.S.P. Izhaar Alam and was provided with weapons and security guards. Some of his duties were to harass and terrorize the families of Sikh freedom fighters, challenge the Sikh fighters through the newspapers to fight his group and take over the historic Gurdwaras. The government intended to take over the historic Gurdwaras through Poohla and use them against the Sikh movement. With the support of the government, Poohla became so corrupt and a characterless person that no woman ever dared to leave her house.
To challenge the Sikh fighters, Poohla with the help of Jeevan Umranangal started a new political party called "Jagat Akali Dal" which was named after Lala Jagat Narayan. Lala Jagat Narayan was a fundamentalist Arya Samaji Hindu who spewed poison against the Sikhs in his newspaper for which he was killed later. Umranangal's son Sukhdev was killed by Sikh fighters. After his death, Umranangal's second son, Paramraj was hired as an S.P. of Criminal branch by Ribiero. Through Paramraj, Poohla became friend with many of the corrupt police officers and by using their help, Phoola collected large sum of money from many rich families and shared his wealth with them.
Swaranjit Singh and other witnesses state that police officers Paramraj Umranangal, Sumaid Saini, Ajit Sandhu, Jasminder and some other police officers frequently visited Poohla and they all drank liquor together. Many times police officers asked Poohla to give them some people so they could kill them to show police encounters. Sometimes Poohla sent people from his own gang and other times he sent people from other states to the police officers. People from other states come to Punjab to earn a living. Poohla did this so his police officers friends could get higher ranks and then provide support to Poohla in return. For these favors, Poohla received weapons, tractors, automobiles, jeeps, etc. from police officers. These items were usually the property of innocent people who were killed in fake encounters or were the property of soldiers who died fighting for freedom for the Sikh nation. Poohla even received Nishan Sahibs, which were raised in memory of Sikhs who died for Khalistan, from police officers. Poohla usually sold these items to others. Any illegal drug that was caught was also sent to Poohla in government vehicles.
Taking over Gurdwaras
Phoola had become obsessed with taking over Gurdwaras. First he took over a Gurdwara of village Kartarpur near Gurdaspur. Then in 1989 he forcibly took over an historic Gurdwara Damdama Sahib in Hargobindpur. He physically assaulted the employees of the Gurdwara and had them arrested under the false accusation of sheltering the Sikh freedom fighters. People who protested against Poohla were suppressed by the local police. Then Poohla took over many Gurdwaras in Chandigarh. He took over Gurdwara of Ghuman and 10 acre of land that belonged to the Gurdwara. Furthermore, he took over Gurdwara Hargobindpur Sahib, built in the memory of Guru Hargobind Ji, Gurdwara of Kartarpur and 100 acres of land on which he built his mansion, and Gurdwara Baba Bakala and 12 acres of land on which he built another one of his mansions. Poohla took over Gurdwara of Harchowal and forced the 40 shop owners to pay him the rent which to this day his group has been collecting. Along with the Gurdwaras, Poohla took over 6 shops in Jalandhar and hundreds of acres in village Dhun.
Besides Punjab, Poohla wanted to take over Gurdwaras in other states. He even took over many historic Gurdwaras in Maharashtra and then tried to take over Hazoor Sahib. Coincidentally, group of Bhai Madha Singh Babbar was staying in Hazoor Sahib. They challenged Poohla to face them but Poohla became so scared that he left Hazoor Sahib the same day and did not rest until he reached Punjab where he had the protection of the police and the government. After coming to Punjab, Poohla started to challenge the Sikh fighters. His intent was to bring the Sikh fighters to a pre-determined place and have them surrounded by the government security forces.
Insult of Sikhi
Baba Charan Singh was the care taker of Sikh Gurudwaras. Poohla had Baba Charan Singh killed by S.S.P. Ajit Sandhu. After sharing the wealth of the dera with Ajit Sandhu, Poohla's gang looted everything in the dera. According to Swaranjit Singh, one of Poohla's nakli (fake) nihungs was saying: "athedar Ji! We have taken everything, should I also bring the (Guru) Granth (Sahib Ji) under my arm?"
Swaranjit Singh has told that at one time, Poohla decorated his Svaraj Mazda and placed Guru Granth Sahib Ji in it. This was just a drama as he doesn't have any respect for Guru Granth Sahib Ji. In reality, he uses his Svaraj Mazda for transporting liquor and other drugs. This car was driven by Poohla in the influence of liquor in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
Swaranjit Singh also states that one time Poohla went to Darbar Sahib after drinking liquor. At the gate, security official stopped Poohla and told him not to go in. Poohla pushed him and said foul words. He entered with his government weapons and went to Darbar Sahib and Akaal Takht. Whenever Poohla took over a Gurudwara, he turned it into a fort. In the name of taking care of Gurudwara, he stopped buses, trucks, etc. and told the drivers to collect people from villages. In case the drivers decide not to return, he kept their vehicle papers with him. No one was paid for oil or for the work someone did for him at the Gurudwara. No complaints were heard against Poohla as the government machinery was with him. Learning from him, Poohla's brother Malkit also collected some policemen and openly looted many buses but no action was taken against him.
Oppressing the Public
Killing innocent people for no reason had become his habit. The public became more and more terrorized as the oppression of Poohla increased. Slowly Poohla started to build his kingdom by taking over people's property by force. He took over 26 acres of land of his village, and bought 20 acres at a very cheap price. He wanted to take over the 4 acre land that lay beside his 20 acres. He threatened the land owner, 60 years old Anoop Singh to give up the land but he refused to comply. Poolha became so enraged that he dragged Anoop Singh outside of his house and beat him to death in front of the whole village. His family very well knew that Poolha had the support of the police so they gave up the land since filing a case against Poohla was not even an option for them.
On the land he had taken over, he built a big mansion as his residence in which he would torture people, rape women, drink alcohol and watch porn movies. Poolha started to pick up young women, take them back to his place and rape them. Many people complained to the police but no action was taken against Poohla. Some of the security guards of Poolha later revealed that Poohla would pick up men of a particular household and then ask the women of that household to come to his place. When his guards would inform him of incoming of any woman he would pat his thigh firmly, laugh and say "Let her come." According to some of his companions, "It is impossible to count the number of people he has killed, raped and oppressed." People could not do anything except tolerate his misbehavior and his oppression against them.
The tactics Poohla used to torture others were also monstrous. A person was laid belly down and one of Poohla's gang members was told to sit on the hip. Then the feet of the victim were lifted up. Poohla beat up the victim until his feet were huge with soreness.
There was also a member of Poohla's gang named Wassan. He was a native of village Bhumboeee. His method of torture was to tie a person's hands behind his back and then slowly rotated the arms to bring the hands toward the head. The person being tortured cried out loud in pain but no one from the Indian justice system heard the pains.
Dayal Singh, son of Mahil Singh, from the same Bhumboeee village had a mare (female horse) that danced. Wassan told Poohla about this horse. Poohla asked for the mare but the poor man had his daily living from the mare. He told Poohla that the mare belongs to his brother. Hearing this, Poohla decided to teach Dayal Singh a lesson. One day Dayal Singh went to sell his wheat crop to the market and from there Wassan fooled him and took him to Poohla.
Poohla and Amriko ordered him to be laid down for not giving the mare. Poohla's thugs started hitting the poor man with butts to show their loyalty towards Poohla. He was beaten repeatedly and asked if he was going to give the mare. Dayal Singh kept on saying that the horse belonged to his brother. Getting hit with the guns, his head was now open and Poohla then ordered Wassan to play his trap. Unable to take all the torture, Dayal Singh died on the spot. Dayal Singh's dead body was also thrown into the river. Poohla and Amriko ordered this torture and were directly responsible for Dayal's death. Sometimes Poohla repeatedly hit people in the head with the heels of his boots and made their heads bleed.
A woman named Amriko from Amarkoat supplied girls to Poohla. She was a well known friend of Poohla. Poohla killed many people for her so she could take over lands of people by force. Poohla used his buddy police officers to get her an honorable prize from the Indian government.
According to Swaranjit Singh, Poohla also placed his hands on wives of people in his gang. No one spoke against him in fear. At the start, Poohla had a hobby of having sexual intercourse with old aged women but then his hobby came to young girls. It was atrocious when this monster criminal picked up a 7 year old daughter of a nihung who had come to his dera. Poohla took her to the basement in his complex in village Poohla and raped her all night. The little girl died screaming and crying in pain. When her father opposed, he was beaten up and was forced to run away. Girl's dead body was cut into small pieces and thrown into the river Beas near Sri Hargobindpur. Everyone whom Poohla killed were usually cut into pieces and thrown into this river by Poohla himself.
A top quality and well known Kavisher, Bhai Joga Singh's, grand-daughter Ratinderbir Kaur was only 16 years old when Poohla kidnapped her and made her an object to fulfill his lust. Poohla forcefully picked her up from her house and did not allow her to go back for 4-5 days. Bhai Joga Singh sent telegrams to high officials, chief minister and the DGP (Direct General of Police). DIG Jasminder and SSP from Majitha just kept quiet. No action was taken against Poohla. Even the so-called Akali ministers Sukha Singh Langah and Seva Singh Saikhvaa didn't do anything against Poohla. At that time, Ratinderbir Kaur hadn't come home for 2 months. When no one in the government listened, Joga Singh went to High Court. High Court asked the relevant police officers for an answer. The police officers went to Poohla and said, "Now we have to give an answer, find a solution."
Poohla contacted his friend advocate Deepinder Dhillon. He created false marriage papers for under-aged Ratinderbir Kaur. A girl has to be at least 18 to marry in India. Poohla's friends sent to letters to High Court stating that the girl had married Poohla under her own will and was living with him under her own will.
After getting away from legal conflicts, he took out his anger at Joga Singh's grand-daughter. He handed her over to his other thug gang members and ordered all of them to rape her. Innocent girl was attacked by these sexual predators all night. Swaranjit Singh is the witness to all of this.
Taking the assaults from Poohla and his gang, Ratinderbir Kaur developed a mental condition. Ratinderbir Kaur is the daughter of a martyr Singh who died for Sikh freedom. People who had fear of Akaal prayed to Akaal so Poohla's pitcher of sins could be broken. People prayed for Poohla to be behind bars or dead. Finally one day, Bhai Joga Singh and some other relatives came and took the mental Ratinderbir Kaur with them. A person who lived with Poohla for a short while and had seen the assaults on Ratinderbir Kaur take place came forward and offered to marry Ratinderbir Kaur. Rising against Poohla's vicious actions, Jathedar Deep Singh and his group members provided protection with their weapons so this wedding could take place. However, Poohla later got this young man entangled in thug brother Malkit's murder. He probably killed him himself.
Activities against Sikh Fighters
S.S.P. Sumedh Saini was a cruel police officer who was known for his brutality against the Sikhs. In Chandigarh his car was blown up by the Sikh fighters but luckily he survived and was admitted to the hospital. The police blamed group of Bhai Balwinder Singh Jatana for this incident. Poohla met Saini in the hospital and then told the news reporters that "The attack on Saini will be avenged." The same night Bhai Balwinder Singh's entire family including children was killed. Only the father survived who later revealed that the killers were dressed as Nihungs. The murder of Bhai Sahib's family was widely discussed in the papers but no action was taken against Poohla. In a similar way, Poohla and his group killed an entire family of Bhai Joga Singh in village Khanpur. Poohla even picked up four students of Damdami Taksal from Gurdwara Gurdarshan Parkash, Mehta, brought them back to his place and killed them all. He killed hundreds of family members of other Sikh fighter but no action was taken against him as he had full support of the government.
Swaranjit Singh Escapes
Swaranjit Singh was now seriously looking for a way out of Poohla's gang. Another way of calling death was leaving Poohla's gang. Swaranjit could no longer watch Poohla commit his vicious crimes. Swaranjit Singh made contacts with Jathedar Deep Singh. Poohla had his suspicions too. To place fear into Swaranjit Singh, Poohla beat him and told SSP Sumaid Saini of Chandigarh to take over Swaranjit Singh's family living in the sector 39-C Gurudwara in Chandigarh. For his family's safety, Swaranjit Singh delayed his leave for a while and started making plans to rescue his family from Poohla's trap.
Also in 1997, Akali government came in power. Even though they were also backing up Poohla, Swaranjit Singh asked Minister Ajit Singh Kohar for help to free his family from Poohla. Ajit Singh met Swaranjit Singh when Swaranjit Singh had gone to court in Chandigarh for a task which Poohla wanted completed. Swaranjit Singh told Ajit Singh Kohar everything and told him that he wanted to be free from Poohla. Ajit Singh Kohar suggested that Swaranjit Singh free his family first. Somehow Ajit Singh Kohar freed his family from Poohla and appointed SSP from Nawashehar to protect Swaranjit Singh's family members. Swaranjit Singh left Poohla and started living in his village. Poohla considered the situation and then sent messages to Swaranjit Singh to come back. Poohla tried to bribe Swaranjit Singh and presented him some offers. He offered him to select a dera and told him that he would become the chief of that dera. However, after living in Poohla's gang for a long time, Swaranjit Singh knew the game which Poohla was trying to play. Poohla wanted him to come so he could kill him too and feed him to the fish in the River Beas. Poohla didn't want anyone from his gang to leave because the person leaving would know all the crimes that he had committed. Fortunately, Swaranjit Singh didn't come fall into his trap again.
After the Movement
After the decline of the Sikh movement, the government stopped supporting the Cats. In many instances, Cats were killed by the government. With the help of police officers, Poohla staged fake attacks on himself. He kidnapped a woman, and beat her unconscious. Then he strapped a time bomb around her waste, and blew her up on a bridge. He complained to the government that the woman was a suicide bomber who had come to kill him. The government bought his lies and provided him with security forces. After that he kept continuing his notorious activities by raping many young girls one of which was grand daughter of famous poet Bhai Joga Singh Jogi. He also picked up a 14 years old girl Jaspreet Kaur, daughter of Subegh Singh and dishonored her. Subegh Singh reported to the police but no action was taken. Then he went to High Court which forwarded the case to I.G. of Criminal branch for investigation. I.G. handed the case to S.P. of the branch who happened to be Paramraj Umranangal, a best friend of Poohla. Paramraj prepared a report stating that Poohla was innocent and the girl was guilty.
Residents of village Poohla wanted to construct a Gurdwara Sahib in the loving memory of Bhai Taru Singh Ji. In 2003, when they started to construct the building, Poohla and his group paraded the village holding their rifles and saying that they will not let the villagers build a second Gurdwara. Poohla picked up construction workers and killed them. The locals filed a case against him. This time the police took initiatives and arrested Poohla but one A.S.I. officer bailed him out. Poohla has his business of growing marijuana in his occupied land. Residents of Poohla complain that the police refuse to take any action against Poohla for growing marijuana in two acres whereas a case was filed against him for the same crime in Chandigarh.
Current Activities and Opposition
Poohla still has support of many police and government officials. In 2004, on death anniversary of Sukhdev Umranangal, Poohla was seen on the stage sitting with many other politicians. He was seen getting drunk and dancing with female dancers on the wedding of son of a congressman, Malkeet Sinh. He has close relations with many of the politicians and their relatives such as Aadesh Kairon, son-in-law of Badal, Balbir Bath, Malkeet Beermi and Partap Henry. Many of the police officers are pressuring Captain Amrinder to not to take any action against Poohla because they fear that exposing Poohla would also put them at the risk since they were directly involved in many of his criminal activities.
The first voice raised against Poohla was from the locals after the incident of building the new Gurdwara Sahib. They started "Stop Poohla Committee" and were joined by people of other areas and revealed their stories. Some complained that Poohla stole their tractor, and animals while others accused him of threatening them for money. Up till now a total of 12 murders have been brought forward by the public and hundreds of more are still buried in the hearts of people. Seeing that people were rising up against him, he started complaining to the government that the people against him were relatives of the terrorists and directly related to those who had escaped from Burail jail (Bhai Jagtar Singh and Bhai Paramjit Singh). He also claims that he has support of Captain Amrinder, Chief Minister of Punjab, which shows that the victims will have to fight not against one person but against the government of Punjab. Many police officers are refusing to register cases against him and claim that there is no evidence against him. Although more and more people are joining the campaign against Poohla but only time will prove for how long the government supports and protects him.
Bhai Balwinder Singh Jatana was only 25 when he left his family to join the Sikh freedom struggle. From 1987 to 1991 he was very active in his area and had many encounters with the local police. He was so well respected in the area that even Hindus looked up to him for protection and came to him to resolve their matters. Many times, the Indian police had arrested his family members numerous times in order to force him to surrender but it was all in vain. Bhai Sahib had strong determination and never gave up.
The police had tried everything possible to capture Bhai Sahib and was running out of ideas. At last, time of opportunity came to them. S.S.P. Sumedh Saini's, a brutal cop, car was blown up by Sikh fighters in which Sumedh Saini severely became injured and was hospitalized. Police Cat Ajit Phoola met Sumedh Saini at the hospital and a long meeting was held. It is not known what was discussed in the meeting but the outcome became apparent when Phoola announced to the reporters that attack on Sumedh Saini will be avenged. Police quickly held Bhai Balwinder Singh responsible for the incident and set out to "seek revenge".
On the night of 30th August, 1991, Phoola and his group along with the local police went to the house of Bhai Jatana. At this time there were four family members of Bhai Jatana present: Grandmother Dwarkee Kaur (80 years), Aunt Jasmair Kaur (40 years), Cousin Manpreet Kaur (13 years) and Nephew Simranjeet Singh (5 years).
When the police entered the house all four members were sleeping. Without further due, the police fired upon everyone and killed them while sleeping. A young child of 5 years old was not spared and was shot dead also.
Next day, police sent a team in disguise to investigate if the local villagers knew anything about the perpetrators. One member asked a local villager, "How many were killed?" The villager replied, "Four". The member shockingly said, "But there were supposed to be five." The villager did not understand the implication behind the statement but it was revealed by other villagers later that some policemen had come to the village to find out how many family members of Bhai Jatana were present in the house so that a killing squad could be sent at night. When the police came there were five people in the house. During the turmoil times it was custom to have some members of the family sleep elsewhere. This is why the fifth member, Harpreet Singh, nephew of Bhai Sahib slept at neighbor's house and thus escaped death. It was a clear sign of police brutality against innocent people of Punjab. The police was unable to capture Bhai Sahib so they decided to go after the family and collect money from the government as a reward.
When Bhai Sahib found out about the death of his family members, he kept calm and said, "Their plan is to divert us from the path of freedom. They kill our families and expect us to kill innocent people (Hindus) in return. Sikhs do not kill anyone out of anger. We will be harming the movement by resorting to police's actions." The police knew that Bhai Sahib would come after the killers so they spent night and day looking for him. Raiding multiple places in a day became a common routine for the police. At last, someone in the group betrayed Bhai Sahib and gave his whereabouts to police. When police surrounded him, his companion Bhai Charanjeet Singh was also with him. Both had little to no ammunition at the time so they decided to end their lives by taking a cyanide capsule. No action was taken against the police for killing innocent people. Many like Phoola were rewarded with large sum of money. It was only after the death of Bhai Sahib that the police could sleep peacefully but their terror and oppression continued to haunt the lives of people of Punjab.
Historic Gurdwara freed: Phoola used it as opium hub
Chandigarh, Punjab (KP) - In a shocking development this week, when Majha Ex-servicemen Human Rights Front and a group of local devotees took control of a Historic Shrine related to Baba Sri Chand, son of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, shattered liquor bottles, opium, poppy husk and other drugs were found. The Gurdwara had been seized by the notorious criminal, known as 'Nang' Ajit Phoola for the past years.
Reportedly, he was involved in the cultivation of the poppy husk in a ground near the Sector 39 Gurdwara in Chandigarh. The local police is looking into a complaint seeking reinvestigation of the cultivation matter. Phoola is currently behind bars for his alleged involvement in criminal cases registered by the Punjab police.
Sources in the local police assert that the complaint in this regard was reportedly forwarded by the Chairman of the Majha Ex-servicemen Human Rights Front, Col G.S. Sandhu. They add that the matter is now before Chandigarh's Superintendent of Police (Headquarters), Mr Dinesh Bhatt.
A first information report in the case against Phoola and another accused was registered by the Chandigarh police on March 8 last year under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
Colonel Sandhu, who led the campaign against Poolha, said that the nine acres near the gurdwara were being used year after year for growing poppy flowers. Quoting the residents, he told the media persons that Phoola was using his quarters near the gurdwara for selling poppy husk, opium, smack and other drugs.
Col Sandhu claimed that Poolha, however, managed to slip two days before the registration of the case. He added that even at that time Poolha was wanted by the Punjab police in connection with an abduction case.
Meanwhile, a torture cell was discovered by the devotees from the quarters of Ajit Phoola near the Sector 39 gurdwara.
The Sector 39 Gurdwara was freed on June 23, after 15 long years from the alleged possession of Phoola's men. As a result, the devotees from the surrounding areas were finally able to pay obeisance in the gurdawra. Phoola, in charge of the gurdwara until a few months back, is currently behind bars on allegations of being involved in a variety of criminal offences.
Giving details of the operation, Col Sandhu said that devotees from villages surrounding Chandigarh, descended upon the Gurdwara to perform ardas at about 6 am.
Reports recieved by the Panthic Weekly suggest that the local devotees included Nihangs from the Baba Bakala Tarna Dal, who helped Col Sandhu and the Majha Ex-servicemen Human Rights Front in freeing the historic Gurdwara. The Nihangs have been campaigning against Ajit Phoola's gang for several years. Apparently, Phoola was given the name 'Nang' by the real Nihangs, whom he tried to imitate by wearing the traditional Nihang warrior dress.
"After carrying out the ceremony, they entered the premises situated some 50 yards away from the main Gurdwara to find two of Phoola's supporters. They volunteered to leave the place provided they were paid their bus fares. After accepting Rs 150 each, they left the place," he claimed.
Colonel Sandhu also showed the whiskey bottles and other articles, including women's undergarments scattered all over the place. This clearly indicated the evil doings of Phoola and his notorious gang of criminals.
Describing the torture cell as a room with an iron rod fastened to a rope, Col Sandhu said that the victims were beaten after being hung. He also showed pieces of ropes allegedly used for tying the hands of the victims.
Information available to the Panthic Week indicates that Phoola had tortured numbers of Sikh youth during the era of Sikh freedom struggle. It has also been suggested that in that period, the Punjab police gave Phoola's gang 'easy' weapons licenses so that he could continue his campaign against Sikh freedom fighters, as well as innocent villagers who spoke against the tyranny.
Sandhu told media persons that seven continuous Akhand Paths were now being held to restore the Maryada of the shrine built on an old mazar in memory of Baba Siri Chand, son of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev ji.
He claimed that the Gurdwara was practically in ruins as kar seva was never performed. "Phoolha was primarily concerned about his own comfort, evident from the fact that the complex was air-conditioned," he said.
The devotees, armed with automatic and semi-automatic weapons, said they would look after the gurdwara till a proper arrangement was made for its security. They added that in March last year, a committee was formed and registered to manage the gurdwara.
However, even though Colonel Sandhu and the devotees had freed the shrine from the possession of Phoolha's men, the Chandigarh police registered a case of rioting and trespassing against him and several others.
29 August 2008
I have been reading about the murder/execution of Ajit Poohla. Until his death, I really knew nothing of him. Generally speaking, the idea of throwing flammable liquid on a Sikh and setting him alight appalls me, but I sensed something unusual in this case. Then I came across a quote of KP- Gill calling him 'a patriot and a nationalist.' Knowing well KP- Gill's view's.
I reasoned that he was not referring to a patriotic lover of Khalistan. I have done some reading and, thanks to IHRO, have found this rather long article. This creepy person appears to be no more a Nihung than I am Batman. (The burn pictures are from The Panthic News, which is in Punjabi, for those of you more comfortable in that language.) The article is from Sikh The Truth; however that site seems not to be up and running at this time. For anyone interested, the e-mail address is email@example.com
The Black Cat - From the Janet Jackson album. I chose this because it looks demonic and evil to me.
KP- Gill as a sacred cow - He seems to want to be a Hindu hero, so why not? That's the ugliest, most evil-looking picture of him I could find of him
Ajit Poolha and his Gang - From The Panthic Weekly. This particular article is about one of his more petty crimes, still devestating to the family involved.
Ajit Poolha Dead and Burnt - From Panthic News