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THE KILLING OF GURJANT SINGH BUDHSINGHWALA BY POLICE
Submitted by dsgill on Tue, 2006-03-28 09:31.

THE KILLING OF GURJANT SINGH BUDHSINGHWALA BY POLICE
Police could have taken him in custody, but killed in cold blood for showing bravery

Gurjant Singh Budhsinghwala, chief of the Khalistan Liberation Force, was killed on July 29, 1992 at about 10 PM in a "Police encounter" staged in the Model Town Extension, Ludhiana, while he was staying at 95/A, Model Town Extension, with one Kaur Singh, an ex-Havaldar of the Indian Army. The police version of the "encounter" is narrated in the FIR Number 135 dated 30.7.92. U/s 307 IPC, 25 Indian Arms Act, 4/5 Indian Explosives Act and 3/4/5 of Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, registered at the Police Station Civil Lines, Ludhiana at the instance of Mr Balwant Singh Gill, Superintendent Police (Detective) Ludhiana. The FIR describes, inter alia, the event as below:

On the basis of information to SSP Sidharath Chattopadhya that the top leadership of the Khalistan Liberation Force was to meet in Block 'A' of the Model Town Extension colony, in order to chalk out a programme to commit some heinous crime in Ludhiana city. I along with (a list of persons) reached the pointed house and warned the accused to surrender. Instead, they replied in heavy firing. Our party, in order to defend ourselves and to capture the accused, resorted to firing while in crawling position. Meanwhile, a suspect ascended the roof through the staircase and jumped over to the rear of the house. Notwithstanding the danger to our lives, I and the SSP, along with our posse went to the roof and jumped over the suspect. In the meantime, Inspector Manmohan Singh of CIA, along with his force, came to the fore, while crawling. And after encircling the suspect, he started firing. Finding himself trapped, the suspect managed to reach the adjoining vacant plot by scaling the boundary wall and started firing on the SSP and myself (BS Gill). He threw two hand grenades upon us, but in spite of the powerful explosions, we survived.

After removing some bricks from the boundary wall, we fired, through the holes. The firing continued for about one and a half hour. When the firing ceased, we searched the area with the help of a search light and located the dead body of the suspect youth in a corner of the enclosure. One AK-47 rifle No: CC-1 x 17024475, with five live cartridges in the magazine and two empties were lying beside him. 45 live rounds of Dragon rifle were found in the bag hung around his chest. A small diary containing currency notes worth Rs. 150/- was also recovered from his pocket. Bhai Gurjant Singh Budhsinghwala, Chief General of Khalistan Liberation Force, was written on the diary. 70 empties of Ak-47 were lying near the corpse. On house search, we recovered two rocket launchers, along with rockets, 5 Kg explosive material and 3 live detonators with wire on the roof, and 35 empties of AK-47 from the courtyard. In all 951 rounds were fired by the police, the break-up being; SSP-60, SP(D)-50, DSP Narinder Pal Singh-150,DSP Nachhattar Singh-135, DSP Gurmail Singh-175, Inspector Manmohan Singh-160, SSP's party-145, SP's party-72 and CRPF-4. As the accused had fired upon the police party with the intention to kill them, he committed offence under section 307- IPC, 25/27 Arms Act, 4/5 Explosives Act and 3/4/5 of TADA (P) Act and this document is sent to the police station for registration of the case.

Balwant Singh Gill SP (D), 30.7.92 at 3 AM

The Real Picture
The residents of the locality approached the IHRO, with a different tale, regarding the killing of an unarmed Bhai Gurjant Singh. A four-member investigation team, comprising of the IHRO General Secretary Mohinder Singh Grewal and Secretaries Gurbhajan Singh Gill, Bhupinder Singh Somal and Balbir Singh Sooch, after making on the spot inspection and interviewing more than a dozen persons, reached at the following conclusions:

Gurjant Singh was staying with one Kaur Singh, an ex-Havaldar, at his resident in the locality. Kaur Singh testified his good morals and civilised behaviour. Mrs Kaur Singh used to identify him as her cousin. Thus, an uncle-niece relationship had developed between Budhsinghwala and Kaur Singh's three daughters- Kamaljit Kaur, Rajinder Kaur and Harinder Kaur. He had a reciprocal friendship with the locality residents with whom he used to play games, when free. Kaur Singh, it is learnt, was accustomed to visit the local Gurdwara in the evening and used to return home before 9 PM positively. On the fateful night, he dilly-dallied to leave the place even up to 10 PM, when his acquaintances left him at the Gurdwara wherefrom he was escorted by two plain clothed policemen to the police headquarters, after 11PM. At his place, however, another drama was being enacted. At about 10.00 PM, Bhai Budhsinghwala was dressing up his bed in the veranda of the house.

His weapons were still lying inside the room when the house was stealthily encircled by the police. He rushed towards the room but finding its door bolted from inside, ascended the stairs and from the roof jumped into the vacant plot behind. Seeing police officers surrounding the area, he managed to reach the adjoining plot, occupied by some migrant labourers from Uttar Pradesh. A police party happened to pass by that plot. Gurjant Singh being unarmed remained out of their way. When that party returned to the same side, he presumed that the other side was clear of the police. He left his position and came on to the road. At this juncture, he was detected and the police started firing on him from all sides.

As a result of this firing Bhai Gurjant Singh was shot, he fell down and succumbed to bullet injuries, just outside the vacant corner plot." The police immediately picked-up two migrants from UP, Bishamber and Chalitter, who were eyewitness to the whole drama as Budhsinghwala had taken shelter in the plot under their occupation. They were kept in illegal custody for two days. Even when the IHRO team contacted them, they were very reluctant to tell the true story. Moreover, some other residents of the locality, who saw the whole act through their windows etc, were hesitant to disclose their identity and preferred anonymity for fear of police reprisals. On the other hand, the police have provided permanent security at the residence of Kaur Singh, though he himself is still in police protective custody but other members of his family were released a couple of days after the incident.

Observations
According to the IHRO team, the police story about the KLF chief, Bhai Gurjant Singh Budhsinghwala, having been killed in an armed encounter with the police, is totally false and fabricated. In fact, no encounter took place, as Budhsinghwala was unarmed. Moreover, the police did not try to capture him alive in spite of the fact that, in the circumstances, there was no possibility of his breaking the strong police cordon empty-handed. The police has alleged that the "encounter" lasted for about one a half hour and 1056 rounds were fired and those too, mainly in a few minutes around 10.15 PM, whereas four shots were heard at 5 AM next morning. It appears that those were fired by the CRPF, so as to join the action, because according to some eye-witnesses CRPF personnel were not seen at night. The police version about two grenades having been hurled upon them by Gurjant Singh does not hold ground as nobody in the locality heard any explosion, nor did the IHRO team find signs of any explosion in the area.

The weapons allegedly recovered on and near the body of Budhsinghwala were planted by the over-enthusiastic police officers, after he was killed. The residents of the colony were not allowed to venture out of their houses, right from 10 PM to 6 AM, next morning.

The way an unarmed Gurjant Singh was killed by the police and was later shown to have been killed in an armed encounter, is a clear indication that in the process of eliminating the Sikhs who are nonconformists to the state, the Indian Government can throw to the winds, all Indian as-well-as universal laws and norms.

Ludhiana: August 19, 1992
 
 
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