August 9, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Stockton, California, USA: The Sikh Information Centre (SIC), a California-based advocacy group, issued a statement calling on Captain Amrinder Singh Chief Minister Punjab to table and implement the report of Justice Gurnam Singh’s Judicial Inquiry related to the Nakodar killings during the coming session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha.
Bhajan Singh, Founding Director of SIC, stated, “This massacre of innocent Sikhs by Indian police needs to be fully punished with proper justice dealt. As it is said, justice delayed is justice denied. For too long, the Punjab government has denied Sikhs justice for the Nakodar slayings, which illustrates how the State has made Sikhs into one of many persecuted minorities in the independent Republic of India.”
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SIC referred to the facts of the Nakodar killings. On February 4, 1986, Sikh Student Federation members gathered in Nakodar to collect ashes of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji which were stolen from Sri Guru Arjan Dev Gurdwara, Nakodar and burned by miscreants. Later investigation alleged possible involvement by the Punjabi branch of Shiv Sena, a violent Hindu nationalist organization. As Sikhs protested peacefully, police opened fire on the unarmed gathering. In the unprovoked firing, police killed four Sikhs: Ravinder Singh Littran, Harminder Singh Sham Chaurasi, Baldhir Singh Fauji and Jhalman Singh Rajowal Gorcian.
According to a report by the International Human Rights Organization (IHRO), police shot one of the victims at point blank range. The IHRO report states that Police Inspector Jaskirat Singh Chahal challenged Harminder Singh Chaluper by name before shooting him in the mouth.SSP Izhar Alam, SP(D) Surjit Singh, and ADC Darbara Singh Guru were also implicated as directly involved in these killings. Despite identification of the victims, the administration refused to hand over their bodies to their relatives. The dead bodies were cremated by the administration as unidentified and unclaimed.
On February 5, 1986, the Punjab government marked an inquiry into the incident. The inquiry was conducted by Justice Gurnam Singh, who submitted his inquiry report to the Punjab government on March 29, 1987. However, the report was never made public after being squashed by then Punjab Chief Minister Surjit Singh Barnala.
“These Singhs were slaughtered on the streets in broad daylight over 32 years ago,” said Mr. Bhajan Singh. “Ever since, despite the administration shifting hands, the Punjab government has shielded the killer police. Just as in the case of the 1984 Sikh Genocide, the perpetrators of atrocities are well known but never face any prosecution. The families of the Nakodar victims have suffered long enough. It is long past time for Captain Amrinder Singh’s government to table and implement the Justice Gurnam Singh report. It is his duty to do so without delay.”
Related Topics: Congress, Congress Government in Punjab 2017-2022, Congress Party, Saka Nakodar (4 February 1986), Saka Nakodar 4 February 1984, Sikh Diaspora, Sikh Information Centre, Sikh Information Centre (SIC), Sikh News USA, Sikhs in United States