Kashmir Kaur was widowed when her husband, an army officer, passed away in 1985. Her elder son Paramjit Singh became the main breadwinner when he took over the family farming business and her younger son, Ranjit Singh who was unmarried, was a registered medical practitioner.
On the morning of 7th March 1993, as Ranjit Singh was getting ready, the police raided the family home and dragged him out. Kashmir Kaur and some of her neighbours were witness to the police abducting Ranjit Singh in a police jeep. Two days afterwards, her eldest son Paramjit was arrested in a similar manner.
Kashmir Kaur went to the local police station several times to plead with the officers to charge her sons and present them before a magistrate if they had done anything wrong, or else, to let them go. She knew the longer they remained in police custody, the greater the risk to their lives. Under heavy police security on the night of 12th March, Ranjit Singh was brought back to his house and the surrounding fields were searched. Again, neighbours witnessed the scene as it unfolded. This was the last time Kashmir Kaur would see her son alive because on 17th March, the police announced Ranjit Singh had been killed near the village of Baath, together with another young man, in a fake encounter. The police allege the two had approached a check point on a motorbike and had opened fire on them. They were killed when the police returned fire.
Kashmir Kaur could not afford to grieve for her younger son as she had to get her eldest son Paramjit released, before he too was killed. She contacted the police officers who were holding him at Bhikiwind station and they demanded 30,000 rupees to release him. She scrambled together the money by mortgaging the family land and her eldest son was freed four days after the execution of her youngest son.
SOURCE: www.ensaaf.org www.facebook.com/Ensaaf
Ensaaf is a nonprofit organisation working to end impunity and achieve justice for mass state crimes in India, with a focus on Panjab, by documenting abuses, bringing perpetrators to justice, and organizing survivors.