On the 43rd anniversary of the 1978’s Amritsar massacre, Sikh24 interviewed Advocate Puran Singh Hundal, a part of the legal team constituted by the Sikhs to look after the legal proceedings of the murder case registered against the Nirankaris, including their head Gurbachan “Singh”.
In this exclusive interview with Papalpreet Singh, Advocate Puran Singh has recounted several facts about how the Indian state machinery managed to secure a clean chit for the Nirankaris who had martyred 13 peacefully protesting Sikhs.
Some of the key facts revealed by Advocate Puran Singh Hundal are as follow:
- Congress leader Navjot Sidhu’s father, Advocate Bhagwant Singh, was the legal counsel of Nirankari chief Gurbachan “Singh” in this case.
- Nirankaris managed to get shifted the hearing of this case to Karnal (Haryana) by moving a petition in India’s Supreme Court. In this petition, they had claimed that the Sikhs could hamper the legal proceedings of this as they have a majority in Punjab.
- The apex Sikh body Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhik Committee and Damdami Taksal were jointly backing this case on behalf of the victim Sikhs.
- The then Shiromani Akali Dal-led Punjab government had deployed three top-class district attorneys Harbans Singh Riar, Davinder Singh, and Jatinder Pal Singh Mann to represent the victim Sikhs.
- 64 murderer Nirankaris were arrested by the police, including Nirankari chief Gurbachan “Singh”. Initially, they were kept in Amritsar jail, but later all of them also got shifted to Karnal (Haryana).
- Only Nirankari chief Gurbachan “Singh” had secured anticipatory bail when the hearing on this case started in Karnal (Haryana).
- During the Court hearing, Nirankari chief Gurbachan “Singh” used to sit on a chair despite being a nominated criminal in this case, while all others used to sit on a floor mat.
- Nirankaris had claimed before the trial Court that they opened fire on the protesting Sikhs in self-defense. Factually, only one Singh was having a gun while all other protesting Sikhs possessed only Kirpans, i.e., an article of Sikh faith.
- Not even a single Nirankari could prove that Sikhs fired bullets on Nirankaris.
- 16 injured Sikhs were presented as eyewitnesses of this case.
- Investigating Officer Anoop Singh crushed the aspirations of Sikhs by getting his loose talk recorded with Nirankaris. In this loose talk, IO Anoop Singh had talked opposite to his statements before the Court. The Nirankaris presented this loose talk in their defense before the Court and ultimately succeeded in getting acquitted.
- Nirankaris even tried to confuse an eyewitness by producing two more Nirankaris in the Court having a similar look to Nirankari chief Gurbachan “Singh” but still the eyewitness recognized Nirankari chief.
- Punjab Kesari group’s founder, Lala Jagat Narayan, gave a statement against the Sikh interests in this case while presenting himself in defense of Nirankaris before a commission in Tarn Taran.
- 63 out of the total 64 Nirankaris, including their chief Gurbachan “Singh”, were declared innocent, while only one of them was addressed a year-long sentence for possessing a pistol.
- Around 20-22 out of these 64 Nirankaris got killed by the Sikh militants during the trial of this case.
Watch the full interview to know more facts: