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Man dies in Punjab Police custody; Suspected to have been tortured to Death

March 15, 2011 | By

File Photo: Sohan Singh in Police Custody

File Photo: Sohan Singh (Blue Turban) in Police Custody

Amritsar, PUNJAB: Within a week after his arrest by the State Special Operation Cell (SSOC), the alleged member of Khalistan Commando Force Sohan Singh alias Sohanjeet Singh died under mysterious circumstances in police custody on Monday.

Police claims that Sohan Singh had committed suicide by hanging himself from the roof while his wife Bhinder Kaur blamed police for torturing her husband to death.

Sohan Singh was arrested by State Special Operation Cell on March 7 and was on police remand. Deputy Commissioner of Police A.S. Chahal claimed that Sohan Singh committed suicide by hanging himself from fan.

Police had claimed to have arrested Sohan Singh on March 7 on the tip off with One automatic Pistol 32 Bore along with magazine and five live cartridges. Sohan Singh was wanted to Police for planting RDX explosive in the stranded car but it was timely defused before it exploded with the help of army experts last year in May.

He was arrested under section 25/54/59 Act, 17/18/19 Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 420,467,468,471,120-B IPC, AIG Manminder Singh of SSOC is reported to have said.

Sohan Singh’s wife Bhinder Kaur alleged that her husband could never commit suicide since he was a strong person. ‘He has died due to police torture,’ she alleged, adding that police had picked him from his residence at Sur Singh village and not from near bus stand – as was claimed by police. She said that her husband was victimized by the police with its’ infamous practice of fabricating the circumstances including date, time and place of arrest.

As per Advocate Jaspal Singh Manjhpur of Sikhs for Human Rights (SFHR) “it is general practice in Punjab that police takes a person in custody from a different place but shows his arrest from some other entirely different place”. Most of the times persons are kept in illegal custody; ranging from some days to few weeks and in certain cases, though very limited in number, to even months. He presented some documentary proofs and cities some selected cases of different persons belonging to various districts of Punjab in order to support his argument that the practice is generally and widely adopted by the Punjab Police.

Meanwhile, Khalra Mission Organization has demanded probe into the death of Sohan Singh from the sitting judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court. Chairman of mission Kirpal Singh Randhawa has demanded action against Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Manminder Singh of SSOC. Demand for independent judicial probe has also been raised by Shiromani Akali Dal (Panch Pardhani) led by Bhai Daljeet Singh Bittu, who is currently confined in Amritsar Jail due to alleged political reasons. Panch Pardhani’s Secreatry General Harpal Singh Cheema and other senior leaders while suspecting a custodial and torture death in the case, have demanded impartial judicial probe.

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