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Torture in police custody – Panch Pardhani leader Bhai Kulvir Singh Barapind sues India in US court

May 11, 2013 | By

Jalandhar, Punjab (May 11, 2013): Akali Dal Panch Pardhani (ADPP) president Bhai Kulvir Singh Barapind has sued the Government of India and State Government of Punjab besides President Pranab Mukharjee, PM Manmohan Singh, Minister of External Affairs, Minister of Home Affairs, National Security Advisor, Director of National Investigative Agency, Governor of Punjab, Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, Punjab police chief and a number of other Indian authorities and police officers in a US court. He has demanded $10 million as damages for suffering torture in the custody of Punjab police.

Bhai Kulbir Singh Barapind, President of ADPP and Member of SGPC from Phillaur

In his complaint Bhai Kulvir Singh Barapind has maintained that sued Indian authorities are liable for violating the terms and conditions of the extradition treaty under which he was handed over to India.

The complaint moved before the “United States District for Eastern District of California” (Fresno Division) court mentions that the plaintiff Kulvir Singh Barapind was surrendered to Indian authorities only on the condition that he would not suffer “torture” in India as defined by the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; however, beginning on or about September 20, 2012, the Government of India its political subdivisions, officials, instrumentalities, and agents, arrested Bhai Barapind from his home, and thereafter have subjected him to torture as defined by the Convention, thereby violating the terms of his surrender.

Bhai Kulbir Singh Barapind was brought into India from the United States in 2006 through an extradition treaty to face militancy related charges. Though Indian authorities had demanded his extradition in more than thirty cases; the US court had found that only three cases were sustainable for trial. It is notable that on his return to India Kulvir Singh stood for trial in all the three cases and he was acquitted by the Indian courts in all of these cases.

He is currently heading the Akali Dal Panch Pardhani. In 2011 he successfully contested the election of member of Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) from Phillaur constituency.

He was arrested on intervening night of 19 and 20 September, 2012 by the Nawanshehr Police for alleged “preventive measures” in wake of 20 September Bharat Bandh call by NDA. After his arrest, while he was confined in Ludhiana Jail he was charged under “Unlawful Activities Prevention Act” by Phillaur police. After securing his police remand the police allegedly subjected to torture in custody.

Bhai Barapind’s lawyer had moved a complaint in September 2012 to the Phillaur magistrate demanding his medical examination to determine the traces of torture but despite court order dated September 28, 2012 the medical examination was never conducted by the civil and police administration.

Bhai Barapind, in his complaint, has informed the US court that he has initiated proceedings against the Indian authorities for non compliance of Indian court’s order for medical examination but he has not yet had a hearing in this matter.

As India had signed the extradition treaty in this India the Indian authorities shall have be face this complaint in the US court.

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