AMRITSAR: Four Brahmins were hanged in a village near Batala, While the police sources habitually blamed the freedom fighters, a spokesman of the freedom fighters described the hangings as the handiwork of the government agents who are whipping up trouble to create conditions for the imposition of emergency in the country.

The incident took place around 12:30am. According to reports reaching here eight or nine persons entered the house of Sarpanch Ram Pal and took him and his brother Sat Pal to the village out skirts. From the adjoining house they woke up their relatives Tarsem Lal and Dharam Pal and asked them to accompany them. All four were hanged to death from a tree. The police learnt of the incident on the morning of January 12, around 8:30am. The report was received by sub inspector from Batala by telephone. Senior officers including Director General of Police visited the site of the incident. Later the police chief held a meeting with the Inspector of Police border range, Mr. C. Paul Singh and others. A massive hunt was reportedly launched to nab the culprits.

According to a U.N.I. report the bodies of the Sarpanch and his brother Sat Pal were found hanging together in one noose while two separate ropes were used for hanging Dharam Pal and Tarsem Lal. Mr. Prem Lal, a surviving cousin of the Sarpanch told newsmen at Gurdaspur where the bodies had been brought for a postmortem examination that he saw a group of four persons moving in the vicinity and later when they took the Sarpanch and his brother with their hands tied at their backs. Alarmed at the fate of his brother he rushed out and saw his cousins Dharam Pal and Tarsem Lal being escorted with hands tied, he said. Meanwhile, according to latest reports three more persons were hanged in a village near Amritsar.

Article extracted from this publication >>  January 20, 1989