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Human rights abuses on Sikhs in Punjab, India - report out

Parvinder singh | 05.08.2003 12:32 | Repression | London

Reduced to Ashes: The Insurgency and Human Rights in Punjab
New report documents disappearances, extrajudicial executions and massive illegal cremations by police in Punjab, India

The Committee for Coordination on Disappearances in Punjab (CCDP) has released the first volume of its Final Report, titled "Reduced to Ashes: The Insurgency and Human Rights in Punjab." This 634-page volume contains extensive documentation and analysis of hundreds of cases of enforced disappearances, torture and extrajudicial killing by the security forces in Punjab during the political unrest of the 1980s and early 1990s. Included in this first volume -- authored by R.N. Kumar with Amrik Singh, Ashok Agrawaal and Jaskaran Kaur -- are more than 500 testimonies by the families of the victims describing 672 cases of extrajudicial executions by the police in the district of Amritsar alone. Volume Two of the Final Report, to be released later, will look at a further 1,300 cases of extrajudicial executions.

The Final Report builds upon the work of the late Mr. Jaswant Singh Khalra, a lawyer and human rights activist who was himself abducted and "disappeared" by Punjab Police in September 1995 for his pursuit of justice and human rights. Mr. Khalra had discovered, from the records of three cremation grounds in Amritsar district, cases of mass illegal cremations by police over many years. As Peter Rosenblum of the Harvard Law School notes in his preface to this volume, the careful analysis by the authors allows the reader to "pierce through the thick veils of ideology, intrigue and 'state security' that obscure our understanding of the campaign to pacify Punjab."

A companion website, has also been released. The website contains an electronic version of the report, related essays and articles, and video excerpts from interviews with families of victims, doctors, police officials and human rights activists.

Parvinder Singh
Sikhs against the War

Sikhs against the War group, a progressive Sikh group making the point that War is no answer, and only serves to maim and kill the innocent and consequently create more terrorists. It is affiliated to the UK-based Stop the War coalition against the war and occupation in Iraq.

Parvinder singh
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