CHANDIGARAH India: A joint enquiry committee of the Indian Minorities and Dalit Front and Anti Repression Coordination Committee have held CR. P.F. guilty of burning Guru Granth Sahib, raping women, beating an old man to death and torturing the people on December 27th at Brahmpura. The committee visited the village on Jan. 2 and Jan. 7 and enquired about the incident from the cross section of the village population. Mr. Daljit Singh, the village Sarpanchs, confirmed the burning of Guru Granth Sahib by C.R.P.F. He told the enquiring committee that when he protested against the sacrilege of Guru Granth, he was threatened with dire consequences and was shot at by C.R.P.F. men. The bullet pierced through the body of Guru Granth Sahib. Mr. Gurdit Singh, an old man of 65, was beaten with rifle butts until he fell unconscious. Later, he was admitted to Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital but he could not survive the shock and pain.

His son, Jagjit Singh, an educated farmer, was also beaten up and made to without any warm clothing in chilly night along with other 20 persons from the village.

Darshan Singh, Warden of jail of Amritsar jail and Dilbagh Singh, a constable of C.R.P.F. were also among the victims. They were not spared despite the fact that they showed their identity cards. They blamed Dilbagh Singh, constable of C.R.P.F., for imparting training to the freedom fighters. Mr. Gurmit Singh, a government official, who had come to the village to meet his sister, was also slapped. The committee saw 40 broken doors of the houses and interviewed 50 persons from among the village.

Ladies complained about the maltreatment given by C.R.P.F. men and reported that five rapes were committed and a few other young ladies were molested.

The committee also met three Hindu families living in the village who also complained against the misbehavior of the C.R.P.F. men. Jawahar Lal was beaten with rifle butt because he had taken shelter at the house of the village Sarpanchs. He was called traitor when he spoke a few words of praise about the Sarpanch and Sikhs of the village. Mrs. Sohagwate, an old lady and wife of Mukand Lal was also beaten up by the police and her husband fell unconscious as he could not bear the shock. All the three Hindu Families told of the cordial relations with the village and they denied any harassment at the hands of Sikh residents. They showed full faith in communal harmony in the village and blamed the C.R.P.F. for committing the atrocities on the villagers.

Hardial Singh and Bhag Singh, the two brothers told the committee that Avtar Singh Brahma along with other two associates came to their house on that night and asked him to install the loud speaker. They installed the speaker without any hesitation and Avtar Singh Brahma addressed the villagers and C.R.P.F. men who were stationed in the girls school of the village. The two brothers told ‘that Brahma warned the C.R.P.F. men not to harass the innocent villagers in search of him. He also challenged the police to arrest him as he was now present in the village. He advised the villagers not to come out of their houses as there could be a real police encounter. The version of Hardial Singh and Bhag Singh was confirmed by all villagers before the committee.

Article extracted from this publication >>  January 16, 1987