Remembering Human Rights Defender – Shaheed Bhai Jaswant Singh Khalra

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Shaheed Bhai Jaswant Singh Khalra does not need any introduction. This fearless person had gathered cremation records of the innocent Sikh youth who were killed unlawfully by the Indian government and highlighted the injustice of India, internationally. The Indian government was shook by this man and had threatened Bhai Jaswant Singh Khalra to stop the great sewa he was doing or else he would also join the very long list of the singhs that were declared disappeared by the police, but Bhai Sahib remained fearless and continued to expose the Indian government.

Then the Indian security forces abducted Bhai Sahib from outside his house, after which no one got to know what happened. Human rights activist Bhai Jaswant Singh Khalra was killed on 6th September 1995, around 8pm at the Chhabal police station of Amritsar district and his body was then thrown into the Harike canal. This was disclosed by Kuldip Singh, special police officer and prime witness in the sensational Khalra disappearance case. The entire operation at the Chhabal police station where Bhai Sahib had been kept after being kidnapped by the police under orders from SSP Ajit Singh Sandhu and was supervised by Deputy Superintendent of Police Jaspal Singh. Ajit Singh Sandhu had later committed suicide. Bhai Jaswant Singh Khalra had been collecting information on extra-judicial killings by the poilce. Bhai Sahib was kidnapped and kept under illegal police custody despite order to the contrary by the Supreme Court of India. Kuldip Singh narrated the scene before Khalra was killed:

“He was made to stand, thrashed and pushed onto the ground. His legs were stretched apart, more than 180 degrees. Seven policemen kicked him in the abdomen and chest. Save me. Please give me some water, he cried. As I was about to fetch some water, I heard two shots. I ran back into the room and found him bleeding profusely. He had stopped breathing.”

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