|Bhai Pal Singh Ji|
The illustrious Punjab police are at it again. Once again an innocent Sikh has been framed, arrested and tortured by the protectors of the law in East Punjab. This time it was Bhai Pal Singh, 60, a French citizen, Sikh preacher and humantarian worker, especially among the poor farmers of Punjab.
Although the cops say that they dug up weapons, ammunition and explosives, the neighbours say that nothing was dug at all. Is it possible that the Punjab police, not noted for their good intelligence (pun intended), have mistaken "Tat Khalsa," a religious movement with "Babbar Khalsa," a proKhalistan group, believed to be terroristic by some. Here is one instance of what seems to be such confusion: Tat Khalsa supporting activities of Sikh terrorists, claims Punjab police.
|Don't be fooled by the turbans; these are not friends of the Sikhs!|
One of the men arrested with him has been severely tortured and is near death. Pal Singh's health is very frail and it is mostly likely he could not survive torture at the gentle hands of the Punjab police. Harminder Kaur, in the Facebook page, Free Pal Singh, reports that "a familly friend has visited Pal Singh and said he was very weak."
So what can any of us do, other than sit and wring our hands? The first thing to do is to be informed. Here is some help to get you started.
Information is not easy to come by. This in itself is suspicious to me. I am relying primarily on two Facebook pages, Free Pal Singh and Voices For Freedom. I ask you to go there and join these two pages. Facebook is sometimes silly and frivolous, true; it is also very powerful.
First, the chronology, as Reported by Voices For Freedom:
Timeline of events:
Based on the reports received by Voices For Freedom
-17th July: Pal Singh was arrested at 7:00pm, as per an eye witness.
-17th July: Pal Singh was dropped at his house at 1pm.
-22nd July: Pal Singh was again arrested at at 1:30pm. No charges were levied against him.
-23rd July: The Panjab Police raids his home in Village Dandowal, Jalandhar district at 3 different times on the same day: 4:00 am, 1:00pm and 7:00pm while he was still in custody. No charges were levied on him.
-26th July: Pal Singh legal counsel, Rajwinder Singh Bains, files habeas corpus for Pal Singh
-27th July: Panjab Police presents Pal Singh in front of the magistrate late at night and gets his remand extended till 30th July.
- morning 28th July: the habeas corpus petition was taken up by Justice Arvind Kumar who had appointed a warrant officer to trace Pal Singh
- afternoon 28th July: The Panjab Police in a press conference says that Pal Singh was arrested from Jalandhar. As from eye witness’s and reports received by VFF, which are corroborated by the Times of India report, Pal Singh was arrested from his home village, a clear discrepancy.
- 30th July: Punjab police presented Pal Singh in front of the judge and requested another remand of 7 days, the judge allowed 1 day
- 31st July, Punjab police presented Pal singh in court and the out the outcome – not known yet
Based on information from a village fellow Gurmukh Singh who reported, said that the Panjab Police took Pal Singh to his fields alone, sat with him for almost an hour in the field and then took him to his residence and from their drove him back to the jail. No news or journalists were invited and nothing was seen being carried with them. Next morning zeenews reports that that “Pal Singh told the interrogators that he had kept a large quantity of explosives, arms and ammunitions near his residence at his village Dhandowal. He led a police team to the spot and handed over the consignment consisting of 15 Kilogram RDX, 3 detonators, 45 caliber sub-machine gun, 150 cartridges, 45 caliber, 1 Magazine AK 47, 100 cartridges of AK 47 and 3 packets fuse wire, the police added”
Gaping gaps appear in the story requiring a re-investigation and a CBI enquiry. Voices For Freedom has contacted the National Human Rights Commission in India, seeking the safety of Pal Singh and to initiate a CBI inquiry.
Panjab police has a nefarious record of violating human rights and making concocted stories.
*********************************************Next, a few questions and links:
Who is Pal Singh?
What is the official story of his arrest? This is a lot of nonsense, but it is useful to know the official story.
|Click on picture to see larger, readable page.|
What really happened at his arrest? (See the Timeline above)
What can I do?
Here is a list of human rights organisations that we would like to mobilise to help Bhai Pal Singh ji. Please visit each of them asking for help for our brother.
Avocats Sans Frontières
The Advocates for Human Rights
Human Rights Watch
International Coalition against Enforced Disappearances
World Organisation Against Torture
Asian Human Rights Commission (Asia)
Asian Centre for Human Rights (Asia)
All pictures are from the Free Pal Singh Facebook page except that of the Punjab Police, which is from in.com.