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SGPC Woke Up To Compensation Promise Made To Pilibhit Torture Victims Two Decades Ago

August 5, 2017 | By

Amritsar: Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) finally woke up to its two decade old promise made to compensate the Sikh victims tortured  in Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit jail in early 1990s by Uttar Pradesh Police force.

Pilibhit jail torture victims Trilok Singh (R) and Manjit Singh (C) at the Darbar Sahib in Amritsar on Friday. Tribune photo

The four reported victims who were left partially disabled named Trilok Singh, Manjit Singh, Gurnam Singh Johal and Pargat Singh. All of them were handed over with a  cheques of  Rs 50,000 each here on Friday.

The SGPC would on Monday give Rs 1 lakh each to five families of Karaj Singh, Sarvjit Singh, Tarsem Singh, Sukhdev Singh and Bachhittar Singh, who lost their lives then, an official was quoted saying by the media.

The incident date back to the intervening night of November 8-9, 1994, 28 Sikhs were tortured in Pilibhit jail by Uttar Pradesh Police. It was further reported that among them  seven were killed in police custody.All 28 were deliberately booked under the TADA, but the police could not substantiate their claim.

The then chief of SGPC Gurcharan Singh Tohra had announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh each to the deceased and Rs 50,000 each to the injured. But Rs 11,000 was given to the families of the deceased and Rs 5,000 to the injured, media reports said.

Such is the height of harassment of the victims at the hand of judiciary that the victims are are still fighting a legal battle with the assistance from the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC). The next date of hearing is on August 16 at the Allahabad High Court.

Trilok Singh, who lives in Amritsar’s Rasoolpur village, said his elder brother Sarvjit Singh (then in his early 30s) was beaten to death by the Pilibhit jail staff. “I was left permanently disabled. Sarvjit was cremated under pressure from the UP Government then. He had left behind two sons and two daughters. The UP Government had given a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the family,” he adds.

Furthermore, Tej Kaur (80) had lost her son Bacchittar during the police torture. She lives in Bhagwanpura village near Amritsar. There’s no one to look after her, reads a quote from the statement published in an English vernacular.

As for Karaj Singh, he was unmarried. His younger brother Kuldeep Singh has submitted a claim on his brother’s behalf, notes The Tribune (TT).

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