Who Was Jaswant Singh Khalra? The Man Abducted & Murdered By Policemen In 1995

As the pictures of Diljit Dosanjh shooting for a film on Jaswant Singh Khalra surface over the internet, it becomes important to know the story of this man. Jaswant Singh Khalra was one of the most prominent Indian Human Right Activists. He was born in Amritsar, Punjab on 2 November, 1952. During the time of military rule in Punjab, Jaswant Singh was the director of a bank in Amritsar, Punjab.

On 6 September, 1995, Jaswant Singh Khalra was abducted by some men while he was washing his car in front of his own house. Later it was found out that Jaswant Singh was abducted by personnels of the Punjab Police and taken to Jabhal Police Station.

Although witnesses claimed that former police chief Kanwar Pal Singh Gill (KPS Gill) was the conspirator of the abduction, police denied ever arresting or detaining Jaswant and claimed to have no knowledge about his whereabouts.

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It was finally in 1996 that the Central Bureau of Investigation found evidence that Jaswant was actually held by Tarn Taran Police Station and recommended the prosecution of nine police officers for murder and kidnapping. It took the court 10 years to convict the accused.

Finally, on 18 November 2005, the court convicted 6 Punjab Police officials and sentenced them to seven years of imprisonment. On 16 October, 2007, the sentence of four officials – Satnam Singh, Surinder Pal Singh, Jasbir Singh (all former sub inspectors) and Prithipal Singh (former head constable) was extended into life imprisonment.

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On 26 August, 2017, a proposal to rename Victoria Park after Jaswant Singh Khalra was approved by the City Council of Fresno. Council member Oliver Baines even said “Jaswant Singh Khalra for the Punjabi/Sikh Community is like Martin Luther King Jr. for my community.” while the motion was being brought before the court.

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