Sukhpal Khaira on Fake encounters of Sikhs

I welcome the initiative of The Independent People’s Tribunal (IPT) to ensure justice to the families of those killed in fake encounters and extra judicial killings, in the same breath I demand stringent criminal proceedings against those responsible for such grave human rights violations :- Khaira

It’s a matter of great shame and dejection, that no justice has been rendered to the families of victims killed in fake encounters and extra judicial killings during the period of militancy in Punjab. Similarly, the families of 2097 unidentified bodies that were illegally cremated in Punjab during the same period, have been running from pillar to post for last more than 25 years for justice. I am saddened to further add, that no meaningful punishment has been meted out to those police officers (criminals in uniform) responsible for such large scale fake encounters, which is nothing but a blot on the democracy of India, its judicial system and the executive.

Nobody and no reason can justify such gruesome killings through fake encounters and extra judicial measures in today’s modern world, when we have a proper constitutional mechanism to award punishment to those guilty of any crime. It is common knowledge, that the then Government of Punjab had issued verbal orders to the Punjab Police to eliminate people in fake encounters, on the pretext to curb militancy and save the unity and integrity of the country. This erroneous decision of those in power at that time is nothing but grave violation of our constitution, besides blatant human rights violations. As stated earlier, when we have a proper criminal justice system enforced under our constitution, where even the hardest core criminals are supposed to be given an opportunity to defend themselves, there is no justification whatsoever for cold blooded killings.

By defending the rights of those killed in extra judicial killings I am not trying to justify the actions of the then militants, as I also strongly condemn the killing of thousands innocent peoples and officers of the police force, but the “eye for an eye” policy adopted by the Punjab Police can never be justified.

It is astonishing, that while the BJP led Gujarat government has proposed life sentence for killing a cow, there seems to be no value of human life. If the BJP is so serious to ensure justice to the rights of cows, I am sure they should not dither to order a thorough time bound investigation into the sensational matter of fake encounters and illegitimate forceful cremation of thousands of bodies in Punjab.

It is an irony that non Punjabis and non Sikhs like senior SC lawyer and Director Human Rights Law Network Mr. Colin Gonsalves, Retd. SC Judge AK Ganguly, Mr. Suresh a retd. Judge of Bombay High Court, Kavita Shriwastava, Sony Suri a tribal activist from Chattisgarh, Babloo Loitongbam human rights activist from Manipur and many others are fighting the case of those killed in fake encounters, while the political and religious leadership of Sikhs is maintaining a wilful studied silence over such a burning issue of human rights violations.

Therefore, keeping in view the rape of justice, I urge the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India to take suo moto cognizance of such large scale fake encounters, extra judicial killings and forceful cremation of bodies in Punjab. I once again appreciate and welcome the pro human rights initiative of The Independent People’s Tribunal (IPT).

Sukhpal Singh Khaira

Posted in: Punjab