Cold Blood Killings of Two Nihang Singhs by the Punjab Police Reminds Many of Human Rights Violations During the 1980s and 1990s

Cops at the site of encounter

Today, the Punjab Police personnel shot dead two Nihangs who were nominated in a murder case registered in Nanded Sahib (Maharashtra), at Singhpura village of Tarn Taran Sahib district of Punjab.

The police claimed that the Nihangs—Mehtab Singh and Gurdev Singh—were killed as an “encounter” took place when the police party attempted to arrest both. As questions are being raised over Nihangs’ extra-judicial killing, Tarn Taran Deputy commissioner Kulwant Singh ordered a Magisterial probe of the incident.

In an official statement issued here, Tarn Taran SSP Dhruman Nimbale said, “Maharashtra Police were looking for Gurdev Singh, r/o House no. 73, Ganda Singh colony, Amritsar and Mehtab [email protected] Baba who were involved in the murder of Baba Santokh Singh (FIR no.84 u/s 302, 34 IPC dated 11.3.21 at Police Station Wajirabad, Nanded. Nanded Police shared inputs with Tarn Taran Police yesterday about the presence of both at Dera Dal Panth Baba Bidhi Chand, Sur Singh”.

“Today, on 21/3/2021, a search was conducted in Dera early morning, but they were not found in Dera. It was told that they have moved out at late night from Dera”, he said.

The SSP said, “In the afternoon, information was received that the same Nihangs were moving around Village Singhpura. At about 3.30 PM today (21.3.21) near village Singhpura, when these Nihangs were stopped by SHOs of Khemkaran and Valtoha, namely SI Narinder Singh and Inspector Balwinder Singh respectively, the two Nihangs with their Kirpans violently attacked both the SHOs and inflicted serious and life-threatening injuries on the two police officers”.

The information was immediately passed to DSP Bhikhiwind, who immediately moved along with force towards the drain where these Nihangs escaped, he said.

“The DSP and his party confronted them from the front, but both the Nihangs attempted to attack the police party with deadly weapons they were carrying. The policy party narrowly escaped the attack, and they had to fire from their service weapons to save and protect themselves from the attackers. Both the attackers who were wanted for the murder of a Baba in Nanded succumbed to their injuries in the firing”, he added.

The injured SHOs have been referred to Amandeep Hospital, Amritsar, where they are being operated upon at this time by eminent surgeons.

The DC has deputed SDM Patti Rajesh Sharma for conducting a fact-finding Magisterial Inquiry.

An FIR no. 28 is registered u/s 307, 333, 353, 186, 34 IPC at Police Station Bhikhiwind.

However, the encounter is being considered auspicious as the cops in large numbers could not arrest them alive. It is being termed as a violation of human rights. Such fake encounters were prevalent during the period of Sikh militancy in Punjab.

Pictures of the deceased Nihang Singhs –

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