Two deaths under police custody

February 28, 2005 | Comments Off on Two deaths under police custody

There have been two recent deaths of Dalits under police custody: Satnam from Lohian village in Jalandhar, and Rajinderjit Singh from Phool Khurd village in Ropar. The Lohian police picked up Satnam on January 5 for a theft case and released him later that day. The morning of February 6, the police took him to […]

Key witness in Khalra case fails to appear in court

February 28, 2005 | Comments Off on Key witness in Khalra case fails to appear in court

On February 18, Kuldeep Singh, the key witness in the Jaswant Singh Khalra case, failed to appear in court for cross-examination. When the court summoned him again on February 22, he sent a medical report stating that he was not well and should be excused. The court then summoned him again on February 23 and […]

Key witness testifies in Jaswant Singh Khalra case

February 23, 2005 | Comments Off on Key witness testifies in Jaswant Singh Khalra case

On February 16, the key witness in the Jaswant Singh Khalra case testified, implicating the highest police officer in Punjab at the time of the murder. Special Police Officer (SPO) Kuldeep Singh, the key witness, said that he saw former Director-General of Punjab Police KPS Gill enter the room Khalra was kept in at Manawala […]

Gujarat updates

February 22, 2005 | Comments Off on Gujarat updates

The Supreme Court has given Zahira Sheikh, the key witness in the Best Bakery retrial, four weeks to submit details about her financial assets. She has been accused of accepting bribes to change her testimony about the 2002 Gujarat pogroms. Although she has changed her testimony twice, she denies accepting any bribes. In December, prosecution […]

NHRC requests more powers

February 22, 2005 | Comments Off on NHRC requests more powers

In its 2002-2003 annual report to Parliament, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has requested more powers, including authorization to investigate cases that arise more than a year after their occurrence, and “supervisory” powers over other commissions. The NHRC said it should be authorised to take cognizance of cases that sometimes arise after one year […]

The Justice Nanavati Commission has completed its 200-page report on the 1984 anti-Sikh pogroms and presented it to Home Minister Shivraj Patil on February 9. Since receiving it, the Home Minister has revealed that the report does not indict the top Congress leadership. The NDA government set up the Committee in 2003 to investigate the […]

new Punjab Police Bill to expand police authority

February 14, 2005 | Comments Off on new Punjab Police Bill to expand police authority

The draconian measures of the new Punjab Police Bill are stirring controversy and criticism from its opponents. Although the Punjab government claims that the bill is a progressive attempt to replace the “retrograde” 1861 Act, critics say that it shifts too many powers to the police. The new police bill erases the distinction between cognizable […]

Jaswant Singh Khalra trial developments

February 11, 2005 | Comments Off on Jaswant Singh Khalra trial developments

There have been several recent developments in the Jaswant Singh Khalra case, including the illegal detention of key witness Kulwant Singh. Jaswant Singh Khalra was a human rights activist who was abducted from his home in Amritsar by armed commandos of the Punjab police on September 6, 1995. In January of that year, he and Jaspal Singh […]

Dal Khalsa leaders arrested

February 9, 2005 | Comments Off on Dal Khalsa leaders arrested

On January 31, Amritsar police arrested eleven leaders of the Dal Khalsa outside the Golden Temple on charges of unfurling a “saffron flag” on Republic day, delivering inflammatory speeches, and opening fire in to the air. An FIR was registered. Among those who have been arrested are: Mr H. S. Dhami, working President, Dal Khalsa, Mr Satnam […]

S.S. Virk assumes post as Director-General of Police

February 9, 2005 | Comments Off on S.S. Virk assumes post as Director-General of Police

On February 1, S.S. Virk took over as Punjab’s Director-General of Police (DGP). Because of his connection to human rights violations, his appointment has been controversial; in fact, his appointment went against normal procedures. He served as Deputy Inspector General of the Central Reserve Police Force during the counter-insurgency movement and has been implicated in cases […]