In Memory of Sardar Jaswant Singh Khalra

Today we remember human rights activist, Jaswant Singh Khalra. Jaswant Singh Khalra discovered cremation records that proved Indian security forces illegally killed thousands of Sikhs in the 1980s and 1990s. Khalra connected the police to the disappearances of over 2,000 Sikhs in Amritsar district, located in the northwestern Indian state of Punjab. The police allege they lawfully killed the Sikhs in encounters, or in an exchange of gunfire. Khalras investigations, however, demonstrated that these Sikhs had been abducted by the police, killed in custody, and then secretly cremated as unidentified/unclaimed bodies at various municipal cremation grounds. The municipal cremation ground records recorded the date the bodies were cremated, the identity of the police stations and officials who deposited the bodies for cremation, and, in many cases, the identity of the victims, despite being labeled as unidentified. Khalra estimated that over 10 times as many Sikhs were killed throughout the entire state in this manner.

On the morning of September 6, 1995, witnesses saw uniformedand armed Indian police personnelabduct Khalra from outside his home, who had previously been warned by the police to discontinue his efforts or he too would be disappeared. Police tortured Khalra for weeks before killing him. Five police officers were eventually sentenced to life in prison for his abduction and murder, but the chief architects of systematic killings, including Punjab Police Chief KPS Gill, remain free. Khalras widow, Paramjit Kaur, who has been pursuing justice for her murdered husband, remarks: We continue to seek the prosecution of the murders in Court but a communal judiciary only harasses us. It is unlikely that I will see justice served in my lifetime. For more information, go to Ensaaf or Khalra.org

The video below is one of Khalra’s final speeches – it’s an incredibly inspiring video which should be watched by all.


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19 Responses to “In Memory of Sardar Jaswant Singh Khalra”

  1. iSingh says:

    Wow. Can the moderator/s step forward and explain why my previous comment was deleted? As the owners of the blog you have every right to do delete whatever but as a public forum – you have an obligation to explain your actions.

    Makes sense ?

  2. iSingh says:

    Looks like in the present climate progressive sikh is an oxymoron.

    I am outta here.

  3. iSingh says:

    Wow. Can the moderator/s step forward and explain why my previous comment was deleted? As the owners of the blog you have every right to do delete whatever but as a public forum – you have an obligation to explain your actions.

    Makes sense ?

  4. iSingh says:

    Looks like in the present climate progressive sikh is an oxymoron.

    I am outta here.

  5. j. singh says:

    @ isingh, Shut up!!! I read your previous comment and it was useless, (some rant about how sikhs would fight over a movie but would run away when it came to important topics). The point of this topic was to bring awareness of what jaswant singh, has done to help sikhs. He had courage beyond belief to do what he did.

  6. j. singh says:

    @ isingh, Shut up!!! I read your previous comment and it was useless, (some rant about how sikhs would fight over a movie but would run away when it came to important topics). The point of this topic was to bring awareness of what jaswant singh, has done to help sikhs. He had courage beyond belief to do what he did.

  7. iSingh says:

    @j.singh
    I am assuming that you are moderator. Maybe you can go back to kindergarten and learn to be polite. Too much to ask?

    "it was useless"
    – how many useless comments have been deleted in other posts? I would love it if that were to happen – it doesn't anymore
    – uselessness is a contextual and a relative concept, if bringing up the point that while sikh organizations could mobilize hundreds against movie halls, pseudo-sants, etc, they find it totally immaterial or 'useless' to do the same to demand/enforce action against murderers of not only Khalra but >50,000 young sikh men, all of whom continue to live a life of unaccountability (while still infusing fear in online forums thousands of miles away).

    Also, maybe it wouldn't have been useless had Khalra been your relative or a similar fate been meted out to your close one. And you could see the Sikh leadership wining and dining with the perpetrators of these crimes after returning from burning a cinema hall.

    What pains me most is to see hundred candle light vigils for 1984 riots but none for the thousands of villages who have not seen a wedding in years due to total elimination of young sikhs boys over a decade.

    Thanks for your explanation though. Adios.

  8. Jodha says:

    j.singh is not a moderator on this website.

  9. iSingh says:

    @j.singh
    I am assuming that you are moderator. Maybe you can go back to kindergarten and learn to be polite. Too much to ask?

    "it was useless"
    – how many useless comments have been deleted in other posts? I would love it if that were to happen – it doesn't anymore
    – uselessness is a contextual and a relative concept, if bringing up the point that while sikh organizations could mobilize hundreds against movie halls, pseudo-sants, etc, they find it totally immaterial or 'useless' to do the same to demand/enforce action against murderers of not only Khalra but >50,000 young sikh men, all of whom continue to live a life of unaccountability (while still infusing fear in online forums thousands of miles away).

    Also, maybe it wouldn't have been useless had Khalra been your relative or a similar fate been meted out to your close one. And you could see the Sikh leadership wining and dining with the perpetrators of these crimes after returning from burning a cinema hall.

    What pains me most is to see hundred candle light vigils for 1984 riots but none for the thousands of villages who have not seen a wedding in years due to total elimination of young sikhs boys over a decade.

    Thanks for your explanation though. Adios.

  10. Jodha says:

    j.singh is not a moderator on this website.

  11. Tarn says:

    for iSingh

    Tell us about the missing generation.

  12. Tarn says:

    for iSingh

    Tell us about the missing generation.

  13. Anonymous says:

    waheguru ;-( i think almost 100% of Sikhs who were killed/murdered are due to either world war's or by their country people. There are groups around the world which were killed/murdered but mostly by others.

  14. […] Challenge the Darkness campaign. The aim of the campaign is to remember human rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalraand bring awareness to the mass state crimes committed in Punjab, India from 1984 to 1995. At the […]

  15. […] Jaswant Singh Khalra discovered cremation records that proved Indian security forces illegally killed thousands of Sikhs in the 1980s and 1990s. Khalra connected the police to the disappearances of over 2,000 Sikhs in Amritsar district, located in the northwestern Indian state of Punjab. On the morning of September 6, 1995, witnesses saw uniformedand armed Indian police personnelabduct Khalra from outside his home, who had previously been warned by the police to discontinue his efforts or he too would be disappeared. Police tortured Khalra for weeks before killing him. ? […]