May 9, 2014 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Hoshiarpur, Punjab (May 9, 2014): A Hoshiarpur court today pronounced a 25 years old case related to enforced disappearance of Kuljit Singh Dhatt. Dhatt was the son-in-law of Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s sister Parkash Kaur.
Additional District & Sessions Judge Poonam R. Joshi held the three police officers – SPS Basra, Jaspal Singh and Sita Ram – guilty of fake encounter. They have been awarded five years imprisonment.
It is pertinent to mention here that two other accused police officers Ajit Singh Sandhu and Sardul Singh died during the trial.
Kuljit Singh Dhatt was killed in a fake encounter by police in the year 1989.
It may be recalled that the period of post-1984 to mid-1990s in Punjab was marked by mass level human rights abuses by the Punjab police and other armed forces of the Indian State. It was a time when illegal custody, custodial torture, enforced disappearance and fake encounters had become common policing practise. These abuses were widespread and systematic.
In the case of enforced disappearances of Kuljit Singh Dhatt, Parkash Kaur, had made an appeal to the Supreme Court of India which had set up a Judicial Commission under the chairmanship of Justice (Retd) HL Randev on Sept 9, 1990. Justice Randev submitted his report in the case in the year 1993.
A case was then registered against the then SP (Operations) SPS Basra, SHO Dasuya Jaspal Singh DSP Dasuya Ajit Singh Sandhu, SHO Tanda Sardul Singh and Garhdiwala Police Post Incharge Sita Ram.
While Ajit Singh Sandhu and Sardul Singh died during the trial, SPS Basra, Jaspal Singh and Sita Ram were facing the trial.
In July 1997, Jaspal Singh petitioned in High Court against the FIR against him and others.
Thereafter, the case remained pending in High Court till 2009.
The family members then knocked the door of Supreme Court to seek justice. The Supreme Court of India then directed the court to run the trial.
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