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Hondh Massacre: PIL seeks judicial probe

February 24, 2011 | By

Chandigarh, PUNJAB (February 24, 2011): Sikhs for Justice and AISSF have moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court demanding a judicial probe into the horrific killing of Sikhs in village Hondh-Chillar in Rewari District, Haryana on November 2, 1984.

In a Civil writ petition filed with the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Sikhs for Justice and All India Sikh Student Federation demanded an enquiry from a retired High Court to be assisted by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Representing the petitioners, Advocate Navkiran Singh stated that proper investigation was never done in this case. None of the eyewitnesses or survivors were ever contacted by the police.

On November 2, 1984 in an organized attack the entire Sikh population of village Hondh- Chillar, then district Mahendergarh presently falling under district Rewari, Haryana was massacred and their dwellings and the Gurudwara were burnt down.

According to the FIR, no 91, a copy of which was presented in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday, which was registered at police station Jatusana in Mahendergarh district, now in Rewari, based on DDR no 5, the killers had first arrived in a truck from the side of Hali Mandi in Pataudi, Gurgaon district on the morning of November 2, at around 11am, but were “pacified” by a group of villagers of Chillar and persuaded to go back. However, they returned in the evening, accompanied by more people in two or three trucks and started the bloodbath. “They said they were determined to eliminate the Sikhs because those Sikhs had killed our beloved leader Indira Gandhi’ reads the statement recorded by the complainant in the FIR.

The FIR was registered on the complaint of Dhanpat Singh, the then sarpanch of Chillar who has stated that the killers came back in the evening and started burning the dwellings of the Sikhs. Though, the locals tried to stop them but the killers carried on their arson and attack, while threatening the locals to keep out. The complaint states, “Deep Chand Nambardar, Nanak Chand, Kanhaiya Lal Panch, a resident of Nurpur came to the spot and tried to convince them (killers). But, none of them paid any heed to it and said that Sikhs are traitors and we will finish them, and if you said a word then you will also face bad consequences. They were 400-500 in number and they put houses and shed on fire and started pelting stones, due to which some people were burnt in the houses”.

The sarpanch also stated that the locals could not identify the burnt bodies, which were 20 in number. “We wanted to come to report the incident immediately but those people confined us and did not allow us to come.” He also mentions the name of Subedar Deep Chand, who accompanied the sarpanch to the police station to report the incident.

The FIR was attested and signed by head constable Ram Kumar and it was registered under sections 148/149/302/436 and 34 of IPC. The document also says that a “special report is being sent by hand through Lal Prashad to Illaqa magistrate sahib and officers. Since the SHO sahib has gone to Rewari along with officials vide report no 21, dated 1.11.84 for special duty, he is being informed through wireless, and I, 2 HC along with constable Dharampal are leaving for the spot along with Dhanpat and Deep Chand.”

Sikhs for Justice and AISSF have demanded `proper investigations`, claiming that the killings were never investigated even after an FIR was registered.

The local police on Wednesday claimed that they did not have any record of the said FIR, while AISSF president Karnail Singh Peermohammad told TOI that he, along with engineer Manwinder Singh, who had discovered the village first, had procured the FIR from the same police station a few days ago. “We have a signed copy from the same police station,” he stated.

Attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal counsel for Sikhs for Justice stated that the brutal killings at Hondh-Chiilar further confirms that the attacks on the Sikhs in November 1984 were not sudden and angry reaction but a planned and organized massacre of the Sikhs and the way the massacre has remained undetected and the guilty unpunished, demonstrates complicity and participation by the highest functionaries of the ruling party and the government.

The Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Augustine George Masih before who the petition was placed adjourned the matter to March 1, 2011.

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