LUDHIANA: The Punjab Human Rights Organisation said that police and its men in disguise were responsible for killing two young Sikhs of Tibba village in Sangrur district. While giving a lie to the police version as reported in a section of the press it regretted that the media carried the police version without verifying facts. It also welcomed the recent trend of the villagers to organize themselves against State repression and innocent killings.

The then PHRO Chairman Mr.Harinder Singh Khalsa releasing a report on the incident recently said that both Kuldip Singhalias Deepa (23) and Kamail Singh alias Happy (20) of Tibba village were picked upon the night of 8 April at about 11:30 p.m. by constable Gurcharan Singh of Sherpur police station and Police Black Cat Devinder Singh Rasheen and a gang of six armed men posing themselves as militants. The young men were later killed the same night at a nearby drain outside the village.

‘The matter was investigated by a three-member PHRO team comprising Mr.Gurbhajan Singh Gill Mr.Mukeshinder Singh Dhillon and Mr Naib Singh. The team met several villagers including parents of the victims and recorded their statements.

Quoting eye-witness accounts Mr Khalsa said that Sherpur police first picked up Kuldip Singh from his house in his father’s presence and then went to Karnail Singh’s house. Not finding him there they rushed to Ganda Singhwala a nearby village and picked up Kamail Singh from his repair shop.

Eye-witness accounts revealed that a red Hero Honda motorcycle (PIL-4782) was used in picking up both the victims. This vehicle was forcibly taken from Jaloor village where the gang left the earlier stolen Chetak Scooter (PB-11-784). The same gang had forcibly taken Dr Gokal Khan’s jecp in Ganda Singhwala village and killed Rekha Rani in Kheri village. The jeep was later found in a nearby village added Mr Khalsa.

While appreciating the villagers who raised their voice against these killings in an organized manner and compelled the district police chief to arrest the culprits the PHRO regretted that this action was no more than an eye-wash since the culprits were still roaming around and threatening Lakhbir Singh alias Jassil the brother of Kuldip Singh and other eye-witnesses.

The PHRO emphasized that this might not be taken as an isolated act at the hands of the police. It called upon the print media to report such incidents only after verification as police often commits such crimes in the guise of militants.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 10, 1991