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TRUTH   JUSTICE   FREEDOM

IN THE WESTERN WORLD, IF A POLICE OFFICER COMMITS A CRIME - THE COURTS LOOK UPON THEM HARSHLY FOR BREAKING THE VERY LAWS THEY ARE THERE TO PROTECT - THE LAWS WHICH MAKE SOCIETY FUNCTION. BUT IN INDIA, THESE POLICE OFFICERS WERE PROTECTED FOR 25 YEARS AND WHEN A GRIEVING FAMILY FINALLY GET THEIR DAY IN COURT, THE POLICE ARE FOUND GUILTY OF MURDER YET WALK AWAY WITH A PATHETIC 5 YEAR SENTENCE - WHAT A MOCKERY OF THE LAW!

On 9th May 2014, a Hoshiarpur court held three police officers – SPS Basra, Jaspal Singh and Sita Ram – guilty of the fake encounter of Kuljit Singh Dhatt 25 years ago. Dhatt was the son-in-law of Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s sister Parkash Kaur. Additional District & Sessions Judge Joshi sentenced the guilty to five years imprisonment. Two other accused police officers Ajit Singh Sandhu and Sardul Singh died during the trial.

Punjab was marked by mass level human rights abuses by the Punjab police and other armed forces of the Indian State in the decade between 1984-94. It was a time when illegal custody, custodial torture, enforced disappearance and fake encounters had become common policing practise. These abuses were widespread and systematic.

Kuljit Singh Dhatt's mother, Parkash Kaur, had made an appeal to the Supreme Court of India which had set up a Judicial Commission under the chairmanship of Justice Randev in 1990 and he submitted his report in the case in the year 1993. A case was then registered against SPS Basra, SHO Dasuya Jaspal Singh DSP Dasuya Ajit Singh Sandhu, SHO Tanda Sardul Singh and Garhdiwala Police Post Incharge Sita Ram. Thereafter, the case remained pending in High Court till 2009. The family members then knocked the door of Supreme Court to seek justice. The Supreme Court of India then directed the court to run the trial. During the lengthy legal battle the police officers continued to enjoy promotions and positions of power and retired on comfortable pensions. Kuljit Singh's family say they are disappointed with the sentences given and will take it to the higher courts - it seems that if you wear a police uniform and commit a murder, you are protected by the law.
 

© The Sikh Organisation for Prisoners Welfare 2019