September 4, 2014 | By Parmjeet Singh
Chandigarh/ Punjab (September 04, 2014): Sukhbir Badal, president of Punjab’s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), recently announced list of new office bearers of the party. The list includes the name of Izhar Alam, founder of the infamous Black-cat groups in Punjab, as vice president of the Badal Dal.
Izhar Alam, a former top-cop of Punjab, had formed a personal army called Alam Sena, which indulged in mass level atrocities on the people of Punjab while posing as Sikh militants. The Alam Sena comprised groups of criminals known as “black cats” of Punjab police.
The fact of existence of Alam Sena found it’s mention in US Diplomatic cables leaked by Wikileaks, besides various reports by Human rights bodies.
The communication, referred as “cable”, sent by New Delhi based US Embassy on December 19, 2005; released by Wikileaks, mentions the existence of “Alam Sena”. This “cables” is in response to certain issues and specific questions relating to the extradition of Kulbir Singh Barapind from US to India.
In response to question posed by “Department” asked for “post’s” assistance in reviewing the assertions contained in Barapind’s submission that – (b) one of the policemen allegedly responsible for Barapind’s torture in 1988 has been promoted to the senior ranks of the Punjab police force, it is mentioned in the cable that:
“With regard to former Senior Superintendent Punjab Police (Jalandhar) Mohammad Izhar Alam, we can confirm that he now holds the position of Additional Director General (Administration) Punjab Police, a senior police posting. During the insurgency, he assembled a large, personal paramilitary force of approximately 150 men known as the “Black Cats” or “Alam Sena” (“Alam’s Army”) that included cashiered police officers and rehabilitated Sikh terrorists. The group had reach throughout the Punjab and is alleged to have had carte blanche in carrying out possibly thousands of staged “encounter killings.” (NOTE: Former Director General Punjab Police KPS Gill publicly praised the group, saying the Punjab police could not function without them. End Note.) Herkewaljit Singh told us that Alam was “at the top of the list” in authorizing encounters during the insurgency period”.
Badal Dal’s decision to appoint Izhar Alam as vice president of the party raises serious questions as it amounts to sheltering and politically accommodating human rights abusers.