Sikh Genocide 1984Sikh NewsSingha Nal Dhaka

Fake Encounter Cases – Surinder Kaur: A Wife’s Unconditional Love

Surinder Kaur was the wife of Parminder Singh, a hardworking farmer and the couple had two small children. The family lived in the village of Sehnsra Kalan, under the jurisdiction of Jhander police station. Although Parminder did not belong to any organisation, he was frequently picked up and tortured by the police and routinely his family would have to pay a bribe for his release. Eventually, the family’s money ran out and the police booked Parminder Singh under a false TADA case, for which he was forced to spend 18 months in prison. When he was finally released, the harassment did not stop and both he and his wife, continued to be detained from time to time by the police. The purpose of this to extort money from them, money they could not afford.
Parminder Singh could no longer live under this constant threat. Eventually in 1991, he and his family left Panjab, to move to Tamil Nadu where he found work in a hotel in the city of Salem. The family eventually began to enjoy a little peace until 10th May 1993 when a Panjab police team, led by ASI Pratap Singh of Jhander police station, raided the hotel where Parminder worked and arrested him. ASI Pratap Singh told a heartbroken Surinder Kaur, that she would have to pay the police 100,000 rupees to get him released. The next day on 11th May, ASI Pratap Singh boarded a train back to Panjab, together with Parminder Singh. Surinder Kaur rushed back to her village with their children and as soon as she arrived, she went to Jhander police station where the demand for money was repeated by SHO Wassan Singh. The only thing left to do was to mortgage the family land and 100,000 rupees was paid to SHO Wassan Singh on 19th May. At this point Surinder Kaur was allowed to see Parminder Singh in the lock-up and the police assured her that Parminder would be released in a few days once the legal formalities had been completed.
However, Parminder Singh was killed in a fake encounter on the night of 22nd/23rd May 1993. Surinder Kaur was threatened by SHO Wassan Singh, not to talk about the payment she made to the police or else the rest of her family would be killed. After her husband’s murder, she was never able to redeem the mortgage taken on her land and as a result the family survived on a hand to mouth existence.


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