AMRITSAR, Punjab, India: Police reported on Saturday that Satnam Singh Bawa was freed by the freedom fighters when they ambushed a police escort on Friday night near the holy city of Amritsar.

Mr. Bawa is a close friend of Harjinder Singh Jinda and was arrested in Delhi along with him. He is said to have escaped two days before a court appearance on several charges. Sources close to the freedom fighters, however, questioned the police version and said that Bawa is still with the police and they apprehend that he would be killed by the police in a fake encounter. The police do not want the story of his alleged confession to be contradicted by him in the court.

Police had claimed that Bawa was instrumental in the arrest of Harjinder Singh Jinda. Police wanted to project him as its informer so as to expose him to the anger of the freedom fighters. Bawa’s statement in the court would have nailed the police lies. To save itself from such an embarrassing situation, the police considered it prudent to liquidate him.

Freedom fighters believe that Bawa will either be killed in a fake encounter or his bullet riddled body will be found and police will blame the freedom fighters for the killing for allegedly “betraying” Harjinder Singh Jinda.

Punjab Human Rights Organization has already established through its fact finding committees that, police and paramilitary troops have made it a policy to kill Sikh young men because they never have enough proof to get them prosecuted for the trumpeted charges against them.

Article extracted from this publication >> January 15, 1988