New Delhi, Saturday, March 19, 2011: Voices for Freedom (VFF) feel highly concerned on the custodial killing of Mr. Sohan Singh, alias Sohanjit Singh on March 14, 2011. Every citizen of this country is bestowed with some fundamental human rights among them are the right to be presumed innocent till proven guilty despite the religion he professes to practice.
Deceased Sohan Singh, was arrested on 7th of March, 2011, by Punjab Police with the accusation that he was involved in terrorist activities and besides others he played an important part in planting explosive material in a car on May 8, 2010, outside the circuit house in Amritsar. Painting the 56 year old man, a wanted terrorist, AIG Police Mr. Manminder Singh claimed that Sohan Singh was arrested under Section 25/54/59 Act, 17/18/19 Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 420,467,468,471,120-B IPC. (http://www.punjabnewsline.com/content/sad-mann-demand-cbi-enquiry-custodial-death-kcf-terrorist-sohan-Singh/29591)
Mr. Harbans Singh, the brother in law of Mr. Sohan Singh claimed that Sohan was never involved in any of the terrorist activities. When the alleged event took place on 8th of May 2010, Sohan was bedridden as his left leg was operated upon and he could not move. Mr. Harbans further claimed that there is no circumstantial evidence to suggest that Mr. Sohan committed suicide and his family suspect some foul play by the police. (http://thelinkpaper.ca/?p=5581)
Mr. Simranjit Singh Mann, the President of Shriomani Akali Dal (Amritsar) said in a press conference that he went to Sohan Singh’s family’s house to pay his condolences when his family members told him that Sohan’s death cannot possibly be as a result of a suicide as being propagated by police officials. Quoting the words of Sohan’s wife Bhupinder Kaur, he said, “Body of Sohan Singh was handed over to the family after the postmortem. At the time of cremation, numerous burnt marks of hot iron press and profuse bleeding behind the neck was noticed which indicated that Sohan was tortured to death.”(http://www.punjabnewsline.com/content/sad-mann-demand-cbi-enquiry-custodial-death-kcf-terrorist-sohan-singh/29591)
This is not for the first time that such an incident has taken place. There have been constant cases of Sikhs being arrested on suspicious grounds by the state police and falsely accused for indulging in terrorist activities.
VFF is of the view that Sohan Singh has a constitutional right to be treated with respect by the police even though he was arrested by the police. The police was under no obligation to subject him to any kind of torture pending his release from the prison. It is believed that Sohan Singh was found dead in the prison cell under strange circumstances and there is no ample evidence to suggest that he committed suicide.
VFF strongly condemns the custodial killing of Sohan Singh, alias Sohanjit Singh and urges that the human rights organizations must build pressure on India to stop such brutal activities in India immediately. The matter must be probed into by a judicial commission and all the actors of this brutal play must be punished without any discrimination. VFF stands with the aggrieved family in this moment of sorrow.
VFF undertakes to help the deceased’s family to obtain justice by registering the First Information Report against the accused and most likely to advise their attorneys in India to file a petition in the Chandigarh High Court to probe into the extrajudicial killing of Sohan Singh and need be get the intervention of the Central Bureau Investigation [CBI] to investigate into the probe.
(Human Rights Advocate, Voices For Freedom)