Indian Extradition Case Of Kulbir Singh Barapind
Posted 29 December 2005 - 05:57 AM
29 December 2005
Dr Condoleeza Rice
US Secretary of State
Re: Indian Extradition Case of Kulbir Singh Barapind
Dear Dr (Ms) Rice:
In New York, on December 27, 2005, the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) has called upon you to withhold extradition of Kulbir Singh Barapind, who is more likely than not to be subjected to torture upon his to return to India.
On behalf of the International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO), I would like to place on record that human rights situation was worst in the state of Punjab during the tenure of Sidhartha Shankar Ray as State Governor and JF Ribeiro as Director General of Police, Punjab.
I would also like to bring to your kind notice that Ray headed a state government (Governor’s Rule), notorious for suppressing political activities and harassing ordinary citizens, while Ribeiro remained the chief of Punjab Police during the period 1985- 89 who had let loose the state repression of the worst order. The Federal Government in 1989 rewarded both these “gentlemen” by appointing them as Ambassadors to USA and Romania respectively for their “bravery” of butchering and eliminating active political resistance in this border state of Punjab.
The Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1985 (TADA) provided that the Indian State, with a legal structure, shall counter political opposition by introducing special courts. These special courts, used to try all TADA cases, empowered the state to prevent any public presence at the hearings and proceeded with a presumption of guilt against the accused. The identity of witnesses was kept secret from the accused. Under TADA, the burden of proof was shifted from the prosecution to the defence. Confessions, even those extracted through torture, were made admissible in courts. By the end of 1987, there were about 4028 people charged under TADA.
Various Indian human rights groups had accused the Punjab government of hiring undercover death squads to eliminate political activists. Advisor to Governor Ray, Ribeiro observed candidly that, “there was nothing unusual about the use of under-cover agents.” These death squads consisted of criminals released from prisons, who were provided weapons by the police to eliminate Sikh political activists, their family members and sympathisers with impunity. The death squads were also involved in extortion, abduction and other illegal activities.
In a press conference held on July 30, 1989, Ribeiro had revealed that “under-cover” hit squads were organised by him “with the consent and knowledge of” the people who mattered (Rajiv Gandhi), and “that such operations were needed in view of the gravity of the situation.” However, later as was inevitable, such operations “had gone out of hand, with the police officers concerned losing control over their men, who were often caught indulging in illegal activities.”
The Punjab police’s policy of using criminals for death squads became public after an “under-cover” agent, Dalbir Singh, shot two senior police officers in Patiala- SSP Sital Das and his deputy police officer Baldev Singh Brar, while being questioned. Many others like Santokh Singh Kala had revealed to the national and international media regarding their under-cover, illegal activities. “I have been gunning down some of the leading Khalistan militants,” the black bearded (Santokh Singh) Kala boasted… and was accompanied by three other members of his (death) squad… “As soon as I see someone I know is Khalistani I shoot him,” he (Kala) said. “The police give us ammunition… Whatever help we need from the police, they give it” (The Washington Times: April 5, 1998).
The Indian paramilitary forces and the Punjab police forcibly took innocent women to police station where they were raped, tortured and paraded naked, according to a joint report by the IHRO the Nari Manch (Women’s Forum)- The Rape of Punjab, 1989. The most common reason put forth for their detention was that their husbands, sons or brothers were suspected of being linked with the “terrorists”, while the actual suspects were themselves absconding for fear of police atrocities and extra-judicial killing at the hands of the state agencies.
During 1985-89, the IHRO investigated hundreds of cases of grave human rights violations in Punjab alone. Some of them have been incorporated in The Fascist Offensive in Punjab, 1989. These incidents are a witness to the fact that Ribeiro let loose butchery of the worst order in the state of Punjab. Subsequent to this, the regime of Punjab chief minister Beant Singh and Director General of Punjab Police, KPS Gill, proved to be more fascist than not.
Therefore, the young Sikh activists such as Kulbir Singh were not criminals. They belonged to respective families of the Sikhs in Punjab. Nor the Sikhs consider them so. They became victim of the circumstance and political situation then prevailing in India.
“Whereas it is essential, if a man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by rule of law,” also says the Preamble to the UN Declaration of Human Rights, December 10, 1948.
The United Nations Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), as implemented in US law and policy, prohibits the US from extraditing individuals who are more likely than not to be tortured upon return.
Under US law, the Secretary of State is required to consider all relevant facts when exercising this duty to withhold extradition. The relevant facts, in Barapind’s case, include the existence in India of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights, the experience of other similarly situated returnees to India who report that they were tortured on return, and the individual circumstances of Barapind himself. The application for relief by ENSAAF states that Barapind was tortured by Indian security forces before fleeing to the United States in 1993 and that his family and Indian officials tortured friends.
The CHRGJ has submitted an amicus letter in support of the legal position taken by Barapind regarding US obligations under international and domestic law. “The Convention Against Torture makes it clear that the right to be free from torture is absolute and non-derogable,” Meg Satterthwaite, Research Director of the Center, has said in her amicus letter. “The evidence set out in the application suggests that an individual in the position of Barapind will more likely than not be tortured if extradited to India. Accordingly, a decision to extradite Barapind under such circumstances would plainly violate US law and policy.
Diplomatic assurances from India would not necessarily protect Barapind against torture. The UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment has criticized diplomatic assurances as unreliable, ineffective and non-binding. And the case Prof Devinderpal Singh Bhullar, who was extradited from Germany and now facing gallows in India, is a testimony to the fact that India owes nothing to any one, especially on human rights front.
In light of these circumstances, we ardently urge your goodness not to extradite Barapind to India only to face the wrath of the State, and humbly ask you to rehabilitate him in US as he too has been kept in jail, for long, for no offence committed by him in States.
D S Gill
Posted 30 December 2005 - 07:29 AM
We dont want another tragedy like Prof Bhullar where confessions made under torture will be used to sentence him to death.
Panth, lets join forces in defending those who fought for us.
Posted 30 December 2005 - 05:09 PM
JATHA BHINDRA-MEHTA CHOWK
Posted 14 January 2006 - 12:52 PM
Vaheguru Ji Ke Fateh!!
Below is a letter from Bhai Kulvir Singh Barapind to the Sikh Sangat across the world. This is not an exact translation of the letter, but it does point out key issues that have been discussed by Bhai Kulvir Singh Ji.
May Guru Ji do Kirpa on him!
Click Here -Bhai Kulvir Singh Ji's Letter - English Translation
Posted 15 January 2006 - 06:46 PM
sadly the person who extradites him will be a sikh, the person who tortures him in india will be a sikh, the press who labels him a terrorist will be sikh press and media and the person who will try to execute him will be a sikh. our own quam is our worst enemy.
(167-6, gauVI bYrwgix, mÚ 4)
hamray avgun bahut bahut hai baho baar baar har ganat na aavai.
My demerits are so many and numerous. I have sinned so many times, over and over again. O Lord, they cannot be counted.
(167-6, gauVI bYrwgix, mÚ 4)
tooN gunvantaa har har da-i-aal har aapay bakhas laihi har bhaavai.
You, Lord, are the Merciful Treasure of Virtue. When it pleases You, Lord, You forgive me.
Posted 24 March 2006 - 08:43 AM
WHY HE WENT TO AMERICAN JAIL?
PLZ TELL HIS WHOLE HISTORY.
KIRTAN NIRMOLAK HEERA
Posted 24 March 2006 - 08:59 AM
I M JAGJIT SINGH.
I LIVE IN GORAYA AND BARA PIND IS THE NEAREST VILLAGE TO MY CITY.
MY HOUSE IS LOCATED ON BARA PIND ROAD.
I LISTENED VERY LESS ABOUT BHAI KULBIR SINGH JI.
BUT WHEN I IN MY CHILDHOOD, KUBIR SINGH WAS A VERY GOOD FRIEND OF MY DAD.
MY DAD IS HAIR CUT CLEAN SHAVE PERSON BUT I M AMRITDHARI.
MY DAD TOLD ME ABOUT KULBIR SINGH JI SOME MONTHS AGO.
HOWEVER HE WAS A GOOD FRIEND OF MY DAD BUT MY DAD WAS VERY FAR AWAY FROM HIS SOCIETY.
THEY WERE JUST FRIENDS COZ THEY WERE OF NEIGHBOUR VILLAGES.
I WAS JUST CHECKING SOME TOPICS AND WHEN I READ THIS TOPIC AND FELT I SHUD WRITE EVERYTHING WHAT I KNOW.
CAN ANYBODY TELL ME ALL ABOUT KULBIR SINGH?
WHY HE WENT TO AMERICAN JAIL?
PLZ TELL HIS WHOLE HISTORY.
The Sikh lobby in USA is not strong enough. Can you imagine what the Jewish lobby or even the Cuban lobby groups would have done.
Ah Bara Pind, near Goraya, brings back memories. Used to go that way towards, Thaleta, Repha, Masani etc. There is that Barfi/Sweet shop on the corner of the main road in Goraya as you turn off to head toward bara pind.
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