HC orders transfer of seven cops for thrashing Punjab dalit woman #Vaw


TNN Mar 19, 2013,

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday ordered immediate transfer of seven policemen, who were caught on camera thrashing a dalit Sikh woman and her father publically in Tarn Taran earlier this month.

The HC ordered authorities to provide security to the woman, who had moved the court seeking protection and action against the cops as they had allegedly threatened her with dire consequences if she proceeded with the case.

The court said IGP (Amritsar range) should appear before it on Tuesday if its order was not implemented. It observed the police had acted in a barbaric manner and were now making the life of the woman and her family miserable. “Police officers cannot be permitted to behave in this manner,” the court said.

Justice Ranjit Singh, who heard the plea, said the woman and her father had told him that they have some recordings indicating the pressure on the family to withdraw the case. “Once the SC has taken note of the incident, this action by the police amounts to interference in the cause of justice and cannot be permitted.”

The court took note of the woman’s claim that Tarn Taran SSP had offered her Rs 4-5 lakh to abandon her pursuit for justice. It asked Amritsar IGP to ensure that the SSP or any police officer does not pressurize the petitioners.

The woman has sought an independent inquiry into the case in a time-bound manner and security cover from Haryana or central police forces while apprehending danger to her life.

The case will come up for hearing on Tuesday when the Punjab police have been asked to file its reply.

The Punjab police had not taken any action against the seven or filed an FIR against them despite the Supreme Court censure over the “inhuman act”. In fact, Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini defended his men saying they had attacked the woman following “ample provocation” two days after the assault on March 5.

 

Amritsar molestation: Expelled SAD leader arrested #Vaw #Punjab


RANJIT SINGH RANA – SHAME 

Amritsra, agencies , dec 6, 2012 -The Punjab police have arrested former Shiromani Akali Dal leader Ranjit Singh Rana and another accused in the Amritsar case where a policeman was shot dead for saving his daughter from molesters. Two other accused are absconding. An Assistant Sub Inspector, Ravinder Singh, of the Punjab Police was shot dead allegedly by molesters who were harassing his daughter. The incident took place on Wednesday, when Ravinder Singh had gone to confront the youth.

Police say one of the accused, Ranjit Singh Rana, who is Shiromani Akali Dal’s General Secretary from Amritsar Urban first shot at Ravinder’s legs, went back home to get more bullets and shot Ravinder again from point blank range.

The SAD has also expelled Rana. Eye witnesses claim the police reached the spot late, in spite of the fact that the place was right in the middle of the city.

Rana is being interrogated in connection with the murder.

IE, Dec 5

An Assistant Sub Inspector of police was shot dead in public on Wednesday by a leader of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) when he asked him to stop harassing his daughter, police said.

The police and eyewitnesses said Ranjit Singh Rana, who is the SAD general secretary from Amritsar Urban, first shot at ASI Ravinderpal Singh’s legs from his revolver after a confrontation in Chheharta area of the city and when he ran out of bullets he drove back home, about five minutes away, challenging the police officer that he would be back. He returned soon after with a rifle and shot Singh from point blank range.

The Chheharta police station is located close to the place where the firing took place but eyewitnesses said police did not arrive at the spot till Singh was shot dead. The incident took place around 3.30 pm and lasted for more than 20 minutes.

Commissioner of Police Ram Singh said the Chheharta SHO was placed on suspension. He said a murder case had been registered against Rana and an unknown person, who drove the black SUV in which he came.

The police said the ASI’s daughter, who worked in a bank, had complained to her father that Rana had been stalking her for past several days and made unwanted advances. “Today she called her father, saying that she was again being chased by the accused. When her father arrived on Chheharta road, firing took place after a scuffle,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Kaustubh Sharma. He said further investigation was on.

ASI Singh, who was attached to Gharinda police station, came in his uniform along with his two gunmen. Eyewitnesses said the gunmen fled when the firing started.

An eyewitness, who did not want to be named, said, “The man who fired the shots was stopped by the ASI as he and two others came in a black vehicle. The ASI told the man to stop following his daughter. This led to a scuffle and both the ASI and that person started firing shots from their revolvers.”

“The ASI fired in the air but the other man fired at his legs. After the bullets ran out, they started fighting physically while people tried to separate them. The accused left the place warning that he would be back. As the ASI’s relatives, who had a shop nearby, were about to take him to a hospital in a car, the accused returned and started firing. When the ASI stepped out of the car, he was shot dead from point blank range,” he said.

Another eyewitness, Avtar Singh, said, “The accused also tried to fire towards the ASI’s daughter but his gun got jammed. He fled when people started pelting stones at him.” SAD Amritsar (Urban) president Upkar Singh Sandhu said Rana had been made SAD general secretary in September this year.
The Supreme Court recently took a zero-tolerance stance on eve-teasing and instructed all states to take measures to protect women, such as deploying women police officers in plainclothes, putting up closed-circuit cameras and setting up helplines.

Death Penalty in the Land of Non-Violence


 

 By- Jasdev Singh Rai-Medical Doctor, with MA in politics, human rights activist and community worker

For a country that brands itself on Gandhi, non violence and cow protection, the death penalty in India and Balwant Singh Rajoana’s imminent hanging on 31 March might appear to be an aberration. Not quite so when Balwant Singh’s statement in the court is heard. He accepted being party to the assassination of the Chief Minister of Punjab, Beant Singh, on 31st August 1995. In court he said he had no faith in Indian justice and refused legal representation. He refuses to plead for clemency. This puts many Sikhs and indeed Punjabis who don’t want a hanging in Punjab in some quandary.

The death penalty is a retrogressive step in Punjab. Before any European countries got around to abolishing the death penalty (Portugal 1867), the Punjab under the Sikh ruler, Maharajah Ranjit Singh (1801-1839), had removed capital punishment. British colonialism restored the death penalty.

India has inherited a penal and judicial system from its colonial past. With the best it has also continued with the worst of laws. Laws and rules that were meant to prop up colonialism, such as prolonged detention without charge, laws against sedition (Scottish leader, Salmon, would have been incarcerated if not hung in India by now) and death penalty among others.

But India went further by enacting laws that assumed guilt until proven otherwise (TADA) and a constitutional amendment (59th ) for 2 years which removed the primary responsibility of the State (Article 21 Indian constitution) to protect life and liberty. Until the UN reminded Indian legislators of the State’s Raison d’eter. However plenty other Indian legal cocktails violate human rights.

In court Balwant Singh questioned India’s commitment to its own constitution, human rights and the law citing the assassinated Chief Minister’s actions. The Chief Minister, Beant Singh, won the election in Punjab in 1992 on a mandate of 9% of the potential electorate. Peaceful Sikh nationalists were detained and banned from standing.

The rest of Punjab reacted by boycotting the elections. India spun this by asserting the boycott was due to threats from Sikh militants. Repeated evidence and subsequent elections show that Sikh populations don’t get intimidated by such threats.

Beant Singh’s 9% electoral backing was hailed a return to democracy by many western countries and media. In Syria the west would call this overwhelming rejection of the regime! India obviously has a way with the west.

Beant Singh immediately gave the police force free reign to continue a policy of extrajudicial executions, torture and illegal detentions even more aggressively. During his four years, it is estimated that over 10000 young people were killed by police death squads given rewards for ‘eliminating suspects’, despite India’s repeated claims that there were only 300 armed Sikh Nationalists. Question, who were the other 9700 killed?

Balwant Singh, the assassin, said that someone had to stop the Chief Minister. The west mitigated Beant’s crimes with words such as ‘democratic mandate’. The Indian State gave him constitutional cover. In India, not only religious texts, but even the constitution can have schismatic interpretations depending on who it is interpreted for.

Meanwhile the Indian Supreme Court, priding itself with ‘judicial activism for human rights’, ostriched itself through this period despite daily press reports of ‘encounter’s, called ‘fake encounters’ by Amnesty and UN. India has even acquired a wikipedia page for this ‘incredible’ activity. In India everyone is equal before the law but the law is not equal before everyone.

Following the Chief Minister’s death by a human bomb, Dilawar Singh, Balwant’s accomplice, the ‘encounters’ fell dramatically. Real democracy returned and the police was largely reigned in.

Balwant Singh questioned the court about Indian justice. During the attack on the Golden Temple in 1984 over 3000 innocent pilgrims, mostly children, elderly and women were killed by the Indian armed forces. A 16,000 strong army using helicopters, tanks and heavy artillery called these ‘collateral damage’ fighting a mere 200 armed Sikhs. The Army Officers got promotions for ‘gallantry’. The Indian Army has always been too willing to kill its own citizens. Another colonial habit hard to give up.

When the Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, who had ordered the attack on the Golden Temple, was assassinated in November 1984, about 4000 innocent Sikhs in Delhi were massacred by a mob fed with addresses of Sikhs, petrol, iron bars and tyres by the political establishment and the police. Burning people alive with tyres around their necks (necklacing) was started by ‘Non-violent’ India in November 1984 beating South Africa by a year.

Balwant Singh asked the judge what was Indian justice doing about the politicians and police who had masterminded or been responsible during the four days of massacres. In fact they climbed the ladder. Tytler, directly implicated, became Union Minister while Narahsima Rao, then Home Minister, went on to become India’s Prime Minister. Rao had failed to call in the army stationed only half an hour away.

Underneath the veneer of Gandhi and cow protection is a State whose mindless cruelty against minorities is baffling to an innocent observer. Perhaps that is the ironic ‘incredible’ in ‘Incredible India’ the slogan India uses to promote tourism. Killer police squads and non violent sadhus, all in one country.

India’s crimes against its own citizens and the silence of the ‘ethical west’ do not mitigate Balwant Singh’s actions. Like many Sikhs in history, he took full responsibility for what he did. He has refused anyone to plead on his behalf. But he has thrown a challenge to India and the world. ‘Show the same commitment to constitutionality, law and human rights when the Indian State, its forces, its bureaucrats and its politicians commit heinous crimes against humanity’.

The removal of death penalty from the penal code inherited from its colonial past could be the first step towards convincing ordinary people that non-violence is not merely rhetorical propaganda but really embedded in the culture of Indians. Or perhaps cows are more sacred than humans in India. ‘Incredible India?’, of course!

Article in Huffington Post

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