Khalra Center for Human Rights Defenders

This week, The Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) and the World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) announced the inauguration of the “Khalra Centre for Human Rights Defenders” in New Delhi, in honor of Jaswant Singh Khalra.  The announcement was made during The National Consultation on Human Rights Defenders conference, which brought together human rights activists from across the country.  The Center has been established to serve as a legal resource for human rights defenders who find themselves in danger or who are attacked.  The center will also undertake research into human rights issues.

The inaugural address of the conference was delivered by Paramjeet Kaur Khalra, widow of S. Khalra. Mrs. Khalra spoke about her husband’s work and the way in which the human rights abuses that took place in Punjab have not been addressed by successive state and federal governments. WSO’s legal counsel Balpreet Singh addressed the gathering and expressed solidarity with Indian human rights defenders. He said that because the abuses which took place in Punjab such as torture and disappearances were not addressed, the same pattern has perpetuated itself in other areas such as Kashmir and Nagaland and impunity has become systemic there. [link]

1.jpgThe conference focused on current challenges faced by human rights activists in India in states such as Assam, Kashmir, Nagaland, Chhattisgarh, Punjab and was attended by the following human rights activists: Dr. Binayak Sen, Kavita Srivastav, Himanshu Kumar, Henry Tiphagne, Iftikhar Gilani, Prashant Bhushan, Teesta Setalvad, Mallika Sarabai, Sanjiv Bhatt, H.S. Phoolka, RS Bains, Navkiran Singh among others. [link]

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 uniformed and armed Indian police personnel abduct 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.

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3 Responses to “Khalra Center for Human Rights Defenders”

  1. Jasbeer Singh says:

    A great and much needed effort and is very much required in country like India where Human Rights are violated often.

  2. @sjsrana says:

    Let's see if they can now get 1984 GENOCIDE JUSTICE now?
    There are two kinds of LEADERS 1. good for speechs and 2 good in action e.g. Mr. JS KHALRA was 2nd type!

  3. thesÑ–s says:

    The life is composed of different aspects and facets. It is inquisitive a creative for the students and individuals. The progress is vital and mandatory. The development and progress is inevitable and compulsory.