Human Rights Abuses of Sumedh Saini – A Personal Account

When Daas first heard about the appointment of Sumedh Saini as the new DGP of Police in Punjab by Badal, it brought back old memories of what we had to go through because of this dusht. Daas then thought of sharing this personal story with the sangat. I typed it but never felt like posting it. What will it achieve? Readers will read it and then what? What do we gain by sharing all this? Who is really bothered?

21st century Sikhs are busy fighting amongst themselves on issues which have no relevance. Then others are happy that Badal is again back in government because he did a lot of development in Punjab. Then there are questions of what is the alternative? who do you vote for?

So is typing all this painful experience worth it? Not sure. Daas leaves it to you to decide that along with building up your jeevan through kamai what stand you need to take on the Panthik front.

The following is not a made up story. This is a personal experience of Daas’s family and every single word is true. Please note daas has changed the years, locations and other details for reasons you all know.

It was in the early 1990’s when the movement for the Sikh homeland was at its peak. This was the time either just before or around when dusht Beantaa was chief minister of Punjab and KPS Gill was the DGP. Sumedh Saini was the SSP at that time.

Our father had gone to attend a Kirtan samagam. One day suddenly, we heard our doorbell ringing and, as my mother opened the door, there were policemen in plain clothes with machine guns and rifles. As far as daas can remember there were 6-7 vehicles full of them. All of them entered our home. Some went upstairs and the remaining stayed downstairs. They started ripping apart every single corner of the house looking through the stuff.

Two of them grabbed me to interrogate. Their head was interrogating my mother and my sister, who was just 15 years old. They were looking for our father. This went on for nearly 3-4 hours. They picked up contact diaries, photo albums and whatever else they wanted and left. My youngest brother was 7 at the time. This all happened without any legal search warrants or without any valid reason. Even when they left, we were completely in the dark about why they had come.

The next day we got a phone call from our Babaji that my father had been picked up by some policemen along with another naujwaan Singh. No one knew where they were taken. The next 7 days were like never ending days in our life when we had no clue where my father was. Then on the 8th day we finally got news that he was released. He traveled back from Chandigarh to home and reached us in the evening. As soon as he entered the house he could barely walk. His body was bruised. Earlier his beard was very long and it used to go beyond his navel point, but when he came back that day it was only a few inches. It wasn’t cut but it looked like that hair had been pulled and broken. More than 85% of the beard hair had been removed.

“We were picked up by some plain clothes policemen from the Punjab police …they kept abusing us and kicking and hitting us.”

After saanjh of fateh he was served langar by our mother. Then we all sat with him surrounding him from all sides. What he told us in the next 2-3 hours is something that daas can never forget throughout his life. Whatever is written after this is in his own words…

“We were picked up by some plain clothes policemen from the Punjab police and thrown in a Maruti Gypsy with black cloth tied to our eyes. Throughout the way they kept abusing us and kicking and hitting us. We don’t know how long it took to reach the interrogation center. When we reached there, there were no signs of a police station of anything like that. It was in a remote place built like an industrial shed. As soon as we saw it we realised it was one of the CIA interrogation centres run by KPS Gill’s force. We were taken in handcuffed.

“When we reached there, we were made to sit on the floor which was ice cold. Then the DSP Sita Ram came. As soon as he came he started slapping us and abusing us. He asked his constables to take off our kakaars and clothes. I kept fighting them as long as I could to stop them from taking off my kakaars. There were around 15 of them, kicking me with boots, slapping me…

“They…ripped off all our clothes…kicking us and beating us with canes—and it went on until we were unconscious”

“Then one of them slapped so hard that blood started coming out of my ear and I could not hear anything from that side. Eventually they managed to overpower us and ripped off all our clothes and took off our kakaars as well. Even the kachera was not left on the body. For the next 7 days we were like this without clothes. This was done to every Singh they brought in to this place. Before starting on further tortures, this was their first step to humiliate and break the person by defying all modesty. Once they had taken off everything, they started kicking us and beating us with canes—and it went on until we were unconscious.

“I don’t remember how long I was unconscious for, but it might have been a few hours, as by the time I came back to my senses the sun was rising and it was the next morning. As soon as they found out that I was opening my eyes, two of them pulled me by hair and dragged me out to another room. This is where they had at least 7-8 other Singhs tied up with chains and roped to different corners. Some of them were being given electric shocks, others were being put on the pataa (an electric motorised machine which has leather flaps tied to it and it revolves and hits you very hard ripping apart the skin).

“I was thrown on the floor and two of them held my hands and two legs. Then they brought a wooden plank and put it on my thighs. Two very heavy policemen stood on both sides and started moving it like a see-saw. During the whole time, they kept abusing me in filthy language, saying abusive words about Guru Sahib, about amritdharis. For these two days, I was not even once asked or told why I was in this place. After having endured all this pain, the next part was electric shocks. They started with my ears and then went on to give shocks on other parts of the body until I passed out. Every time they moved me from one location to another, they dragged me by either my hair or beard. We didn’t have any food or water for all these days.

“the next part was electric shocks. They started with my ears and then went on to give shocks on other parts of the body until I passed out”

“Then on the fourth day I was told ‘Chal teri peshi hai saahab de kol’ (Come it’s time for your appearance in front of the Sahib). I was passed through a number of courtyards and taken to an open area which was paved with rough stone slabs. The scene there was unbearable to watch. They had drums full of human excretion filled with urine and feces. Singhs were thrown on the floor and a choora (low caste person) threw the drum full of filth on the Singh.

“Then two of them will hold the legs or arms and drag from one side to the other on that rough concrete floor. Amazingly, while this was done, Singhs were still shouting jaikaare and doing naam abhyaas loudly. Others who had not done abhyaas before in their life were unable to bear the pain and were screaming in pain. When all of this was done I was thrown in one corner. Then someone came later and put 2-3 buckets of ice cold water on me to remove the dirt. The water was so cold it added more pain on the fresh wounds. But by that time, my body was getting used to this daily torture and I wasn’t feeling anything.

Then I was taken to the room where the darbar of Sumedh Saini was in progress. My turn came and Saini asked me, “Fer akal aayi ke nahin tenu” (So have you learned your lesson or not?).

I asked him what lesson.

He said, “Tu vadda khalistani banya firda hain.” (You walk around thinking you are some big Khalistani)

“When did I say anything about Khalistan?” I asked.

He shouted back with abuses and said “Tu jehde apne kanjraan nu milan gaya si jail vich.” (You, who went and visited your [expletive] friends in jail)

“Then I realised why I was there. A few weeks back, Jatha Singhs had organised a visit to the jails to supply the Singhs arrested with warm clothes and blankets. I was among the Singhs who was given this seva. We were denied meeting with any prisoners, but as I had to sign the register before entering the prison with Name and Address, they must have used it to track who is trying to look after the Singhs in prisons.

“I told him I just went there as a humble Sikh of Guru Sahib. As soon as I said Guru Sahib, he started shouting abuses and using filthy language about Dashmesh pita.

Then he told me in the end “Jaake keh daeen apne yaraan nu ki din thode hi han, kale kale nu ethe leaake maaroonga, paani mangan joge vi nahin rehne.” (Go and tell your friends that I will bring them all here one by one and torture and kill them in such a bad way they won’t even be able to ask for water).

“He ordered his men to take me away and do sewa (a euphemism for torture) for a few more days before disposing of me. The next two days were a repeat of what had happened in the last 5. On the 7th day, I was told that Saini is willing to release me if I can give him the names of kharku Singhs (freedom fighters).

“I refused, saying that I don’t know any kharkus and I am a central government employee, he will have to release me one day. I don’t know what happened next, as he went away. I was taken into a dark room and they tied black cloth on my eyes and covered my face with a rucksack. I was driven out of the place and thrown in a field.

The only words I heard after that were “Oye order taan tenu maaran da hoya hai par teri chitti daarhi dekh ke pata nahin kyon taras aa gaya menu, jaa bhajj jaa” (Hey, the order is to kill you, but looking at your white beard I don’t know why I feel mercy for you. Go, get out of here.)

“I was left in the field in the dark with my hands tied to my back. I somehow managed to drag myself to an irrigation canal and stayed there all night without any clothes. The next morning I was picked up by the farm owner who helped me get out of there.”


For more information on Saini please watch RajoanaTV Ep. 4 – Sumedh Saini

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  1. Appointing Sumedh Saini as DGP Punjab (Killer of innocent sikh young boys) is not a good move. SAD will feel the music in coming Lok Sabha elections


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