Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 12
Deadly facts about torture during interrogation in Punjab have come alive in a study on custodial deaths by the Institute of Correctional Administration. As many as 50 per cent of the police officials talked to have admitted that third degree methods are used against the suspects due to social and political pressures.
The study, carried out by the institute’s deputy director Dr Upneet Lalli, has further revealed that need for conducting speedy investigation is another reason. “There is a pressure (on the cops) to perform as also pressure to conform”, the report says. For the purpose of the conducting the study, as many as 150 police officials were talked to.
The report adds: Lack of accountability and almost total immunity enjoyed by the police until recently accounts for the fact that 58 per cent of them feel there is no sense of shame in cops accused of torture. Only 27 per cent say their colleagues feel bad about the use of force to effect confession and recovery.
“There seems to be no clear cut message from the top about intolerance to torture as 18 per cent feel their seniors will feel bad. Another 27 per cent have opposite to say,” the report asserts. Just 10 per cent of the police personnel are aware of the guidelines issued by the National Human Rights Commission on custody-related issues. Only 12 per cent are correctly able to specify the Articles of the Constitution dealing with the matter, even though a majority of them are aware of the Supreme Court verdict in D.K. Basu versus State of West Bengal case.
The voluminous 200-page study “Custodial Deaths and Human Rights Commission - an analysis of its role and prevention” has already been submitted to the Punjab State Human Rights Commission. Quoting the contents of the report, the sources in the commission say just one-fourth of the officers talked to admit consultation with their seniors or the relevant rules in case of doubt about their powers.
As many as 90 per cent police personnel from the state and even outside agree to the need for adopting scientific methods of investigations against the hardened criminals. “The main kind of abuse a person faces in police custody has been mentioned as physical (41 per cent) and mental (67 per cent),” it adds. “The main reason behind deaths in police custody has been mentioned as torture, medical negligence and drug addiction”.
Panjab Police - Case Study
Torture of Shaheed Bhai Avtar Singh JiAvtar Singh, a candidate for the Punjab Assembly brutally tortured (with hot iron and electric shock) and murdered by the Indian Police.
Another example of the barbaric behavior of Indian Security forces. This is the treatment Sikhs get in the so-called "largest democracy in the world." Bhai Avatar Singh Ji, pictured below had received the following barbaric treatment for being a Sikh :
- His abdomen was burnt by using a hot ironing-press.
- His right fore-arm was cut open.
- All the major bones in both of his arms were broken.
- Hot pinchers were used on his wrists to poke burn his skin.
- Hot Steel rods were used to burn the soles of his feet (not shown)
This is just one case, of literally thousands. Amnesty International and other Human Rights Organizations have been crying out about these abuses for decades, while the Panjabi people like myself are living comfortably and whenever someone mentions a case of torture, or police brutality its taboo. We begin covering our ears, and try changing the subject.
These cases of torture are NOT a thing of the past, you just have to look at two recent detainee's Bhai Panjab Singh (UK) and Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara. The only reason we hear about these cases of torture is because these people are 'high profile' Sikhs, many are still in jails since the 1980's WITHOUT TRIAL who are simply forgotten.
Singhs still in prison for 20+ years, and if they are released they're just hounded constantly in their old age. By contrast in Africa, Nelson Mandela went to prison and became Prime Minister.
Sikh Women have suffered no less.
The only way these things are going to stop, is if we realize as a community, or atleast accept these things are happening. How can a problem be solved, such a huge problem, if we dont even accept it exists?
There have been many recent efforts to promote awareness of female infanticide, a problem rife in Panjab for centuries. It is only after accepting a problem that we can begin to address it.
Wake up, wake your families and friends up.
For you it's a short conversation, for another human being it could be freedom.
Feel free to forward, circulate or cut any part of this post.
The proposed ban on the import, sale and manufacture of swords will have an adverse effect on legitimate practitioners, collectors and manufacturers. Actual sword related crime is very rare and does not warrant a ban that affects the cultural activities of thousands of legitimate martial artists, collectors and smiths. Current legislation is quite adequate to deal with violent crime connected with bladed weapons. New legislation is merely for show. Enforcing such a ban will also affect cultural events such as Scottish Sword Dancing and many Sikh festivals. We urge the PM to reconsider this knee jerk reaction to media influenced scaremongering.
Imagine a Gatka Demo without Siri Sahibs and Khanday, or the 5 Pyare not being able to hold Siri Sahibs at Nagar Keertans.
Sign the petition, only takes literally 10 seconds.
After this thread a group of Sikhs decided to attend the event to try their best to educate other faiths about Gurmat and prevent any slander of our Guru's. This is a reponse written by one of the attendee's:
Waheguru jee ka khala waheguru jee kee phateh.
After the Coventry Incident it had been decided amongst the Uk sangat that someone will attend this talk and remonstrate or demonstrate with the organisers if they put forward the recent speaker Aman Dhaliwal who went on to do nindia of guru sahibs. Usually we tend to get such negative responses from the sangat especially when satkar of guru jee or sikhi is concerned and something has been done about it, but what happened yesterday is surely commendable.
The youth who numbered about 50-60 including amritdharis and non amritdharis united in love for maharaj and went to this talk. With maharaj's will the Speaker Aman Dhaliwal had not attended. It was a sight to see in the lecture room, the room was full of 50-60 singhs. The atmosphere was slightly tense, probably due to the fact that maybe the organisers did not expect us.
When we walked in, IT WAS SAD TO SEE SOME SIKH LADS AND GIRLS STANDING WAITING at the entrance. One Sikh lad had a dastaar, and one mona lad came up to us very surprised and visibly shaking saying how did you find out about this?
Sangat jee we have to start involving ourselves in talks of other universities aswell...Firstly our own knowledge of other faiths will increase, but also we will get an opportunity to see just how many of our brothers and sisters are wavering or going over to other sides. Secondly, the people who go to these talks of other faith groups should make sure they have knowledge of what maharaj says about their faith. Some of these points will come up in a bit.
We didnt really see any other people there ie white people, mainly asian muslim or apnay. The talker started to talk. In effect what he said were valid points. He was a 30 year old black muslim male, who had been 'institutionalised' from day one in care homes, correctional establishments and bascially went through criminal actvities and prison spells until he read the Koran. Then he decided to become muslim but in his own words couldnt find a right practising 'muslim'. All credit to him because he also said that he was empty and if he had come across sikh, buddhist or hindu scriptures he would have 'filled up' with them. Then he also mentioned how he found muslim young people not really praying properly or not understanding what they were doing. There were similarities between our youth and them. He also talked about how the koran should be read by non muslims to see what it says. At the end he opened up to questions from the floor.
Singh1 put his hand up saying the reason why they were there was because of the 'sikh' convert speaker issue. He went onto to say that there is free will and democracy in this country. Funny how that is mentioned when it pleases the mind. Simple answer to that was that singh 1 asked if he had kids. The speaker replied he did, and singh 1 asked would he educate them about islam he replied definitely, then was asked would he feel pain therefore if his children converted to another faith? It hit him that maybe other people are just as passionate about their faiths apart from islam.
Singh 2 then chose to expand on the definition of 'Sikh'. The islamic society from coventry had said Sikh Convert on their flyers etc but how can one convert if they were not sikh in the first place. Singh 2 asked the speaker to think about the use of the word convert , revert by asking if he had any faith before being muslim [he said he was a convert]; the speaker replied no and agreed that he really was not a convert because he was empty before.
Singh 3 then chose to tell the whole audience that Guru jee refers to the nature of a muslim in guru granth sahib jee as having a heart of wax ie should be compassionate and accepting of others, and this is contrary to making others a part of their own system. This was met with a round of applause from everyone in the hall.
Singh 4 then chose to make it clear that aman dhaliwal should not really slander the gurus or talk disrespectfully of the SIkh religion, and neither should he be talking as it is clearly provocative. The talker agreed entirely and promised to let the organisers and islamic societys know that this is important that he does not slander sikhi in anyway shape or form.
Sangat jee , for your information at the speaker quoted from the koran [i think it might have been the cow section of koran]- that one should not enforce religion on another- at this point Singh 1 wanted to ask " so is it true to say that a muslim going out trying to convert others is not right pracitising?" but time did not allow us to.
In between all this the dean of the university and a hindu entertainments rep from the student union tried to stop the talk which was quite funny because the conversation was amicable and not at all threatening.
In fact there were muslims in the lecture room who were agreeing with what was being said. Sangat jee we need to be really clear with our thoughts and intentions.
The number of youths there looked intimidating but the way the conversation went , it seemed that parchar of what a gursikh should be like was also going on.
Saadh sangat jee to clarify more issues at the end of the talk singh 1 went to the front to talk to the speaker with others. He represents a society called ISLAMIC PROPAGATION SOCIETY you should be able to get charity number from charity commission. We obtained his email to make sure the so called sikh talker does not talk again or is controlled - but we need to monitor these situations...our eyes and ears at unis are students themselves...baki maharaj kirpa kardea.
Singh 1 asked the speaker if a muslim does not get up for fajr niwaaj [their amrit vela prayer] then can they be called a muslim? he said definitely not. Singh1 said similarly if a Sikh cannot satisfy the definition of a sikh by Guru jee, then he cannot be a sikh. Our role is to work up to this definition.
THE SPEAKER REMARKED: HE DID NOT KNOW SUCH A DEFINITON OF A SIKH EXISTED.
Conclusion The singhs left controlled and with piyar. The task was complete, but we know by all means it never will be completed as Guru jees itihaas [history] has shown us. But one thing is for sure, credit goes out the youth ; who ususally dont get credit for good things.
When the everyone returned to gurdwara a collective ardas was done asking maharaj for knowledge of our sikhi , keeping tiyar bar tiyar in rehit so that we can offer our minds bodys and wealth to guru jee for seva as well as knowledge of other faiths for our own sake.
Sangat jee: important issues arose from this:
1) parchar of sikhi in 'needy' areas like prisons hospitals and schools - through leaflets gatka and maybe awareness weeks
2) need for ourselves to be tiar bar tiar but also veechar before travelling to panthic issues so that we can come to an agreed conclusion
3) preparation of materials explaining sikhi to the 't' all areas.
4) the presence of all sangat was powerful to sikh non sikh members of audience.
After the ardas, raagis were doing kirtan and sang the shabad "gursikha kee har dhoor de hum paapi bhee gat pae" give me the dust of the feet of gursikhs [love for each other] so that i the sinner may be saved.
Sangat jee maharaj built up the whole situation to finish it off with this lesson. All the gursikhs non amritdhari or not / different jathebandies also embraced each other. Shared fatehs and left.
please forgive any errors in relaying the events back.
please do ardas that maharaj har maidanay fateh isse tara bakshan.
Waheguru jee ka khala waheguru jee kee phateh.
One who calls himself a Sikh of the Guru, the True Guru, shall rise in the early morning hours and meditate on the Lord's Name.
Upon arising early in the morning, he is to bathe, and cleanse himself in the pool of nectar.
Following the Instructions of the Guru, he is to chant the Name of the Lord, Har, Har. All sins, misdeeds and negativity shall be erased.
Then, at the rising of the sun, he is to sing Gurbani; whether sitting down or standing up, he is to meditate on the Lord's Name.
One who meditates on my Lord, Har, Har, with every breath and every morsel of food - that GurSikh becomes pleasing to the Guru's Mind.
That person, unto whom my Lord and Master is kind and compassionate - upon that GurSikh, the Guru's Teachings are bestowed.
Servant Nanak begs for the dust of the feet of that GurSikh, who himself chants the Naam, and inspires others to chant it. ||2||