NEW YORK —
Bapu Surat Singh’s son-in-law and Bibi Sarvarinder Kaur’s husband Satwinder Singh Bhola was murdered at 11:45 PM by unknown assailants under mysterious circumstances.
This is believed to be an act of Indian agencies to force Bapu Surat Singh give up his peaceful hunger strike.
Punjab administration had previously made several attempts to force Bapu Surat Singh into submission. Indian agencies previously have carried out Kanishka Air India blast, murder of known journalist Tarsem Singh Purewal and Tara Singh Hayer.
Bhola, aged 52, received multiple stab wounds, however as per Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll, injury to his neck likely proved fatal.
As autopsy has been scheduled for Monday, however investigations are currently being carried on. Police currently has not identified any suspects.
When the Peoria police responded to a call at 12:02 am, Satwinder Singh was found dead in a nearby parking lot. Cause of the murder was likely not related to robbery. Satwinder Singh had over $2,000 and a blank check in his pocket, which were not taken during the incident.
Bhola is the son-in-law of Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa, an 83 year old human rights activist. Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa has been on a hunger strike since January 16, 2015, to seek the release of political prisoners who have not been released, despite the completion of their sentences. Bhola’s wife Sarvarinder Kaur accompanied her father in India for six months, she returned recently to the USA.
Satwinder Singh Bhola, who at one time was a presidium member of the All India Sikh Student Federation, is being thought as a key player in the hunger strike of Bapu Surat Singh. Bhai Satwinder Singh had reportedly received a number of threat calls from unknown numbers ever since his wife joined her father’s campaign in Punjab.
In a statement released after finding out of his son-in-law’s murder, Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa said –
ਸਤਵਿੰਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਮੇਰੇ ਲਈ ਪੁੱਤਰਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਵਧ ਸੀ, ਪਰ ਉਸੇ ਦੇ ਜਾਣ ਨਾਲ ਜੇਲ੍ਹਾਂ ‘ਚ ਬੈਠੇ ਪੁੱਤਰਾਂ ਦਾ ਖਿਆਲ ਨਹੀਂ ਛੱਡ ਸਕਦਾ! ਮੇਰਾ ਇਰਾਦਾ ਉਸੇ ਤਰਾਂ ਕਾਇਮ ਹੈ ਜਿਵੇਂ 16 ਜਨਵਰੀ ਨੂੰ ਸੰਘਰਸ਼ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਕਰਨ ਵੇਲੇ ਸੀ! ਜੇ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਨਜ਼ਰਬੰਦ ਸਿਖਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਰਿਹਾ ਨਹੀਂ ਕਰਦੀ ਤਾਂ ਮੇਰੀ ਮੌਤ ਤੱਕ ਸੰਘਰਸ਼ ਜਾਰੀ ਰਹੇਗਾ
Satwinder Singh [my son-in-law] was more than a son to me. However, with his demise, I cannot lose sight over my sons incarcerated in jails. My decision to seek their release is still firm, just like it was when this struggle was initiated on January 16. If the Government does not release imprisoned Sikhs, this struggle will continue until my last breath.
The Sikh Coalition, a US based advocacy and civil rights group issued –
The Sikh Coalition sends its deepest condolences to the family of Satwinder Singh Bhola (Sidhu). Satwinder, the son in law of Surat Singh, was murdered in Peoria, Illinois last night.
We are in direct contact with the family and are determining how we can best provide support. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this sad and tragic time.
Sikh Relief, an international humanitarian Sikh organization released the following statement –
Sikh Relief is saddened to hear that Bapu Surat Singh’s son-in-law Satwinder Singh who is the husband of Bibi Sarvarinder Kaur, the main spokesperson for the Bapu Surat Singh movement has been stabbed to death in Chicago, USA today.
Satwinder Singh was a keen activist on issues relating to injustices against Sikhs in India. Satwinder Singh’s father in law is Surat Singh Khalsa, who has been on hunger strike for over 215 days calling for the release of political prisoners who have served their minimum term sentences but are yet to be released.
Sikh Relief extends its heartfelt sympathy and our thoughts are with Satwinder Singh’s family at this difficult time.
The Sikh Federation, an eminent organization from UK stated –
Sikh Federation (UK) has contacted and urged the US State Dept, US State Illinois, US Embassy in UK, India and the UK Foreign Office to look into the wider circumstances and take all necessary action to find and punish the real instigators and culprits of the murder of innocent son, husband and father Shaheed Bhai Satwinder Singh Bhola, son in-law of Jathedar Surat Singh Ji Khalsa.
We have also contacted the US Ambassador to request an urgent meeting to follow up with this latest tragic incident, to keep updated follow us on www.twitter.com/Sikhfeduk
Referring to the news as tragic, the Organization for Minorities in India posted –
Tragic news and horribly timed. Sarvrinder Kaur has been the chief spokesperson for Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa. With her husband’s murder, the pressure on the family will be unbearable. Our prayers are with them.