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Bhai Surjeet Singh – An Unidentified Body

In order to suppress the Sikh movement in Punjab, the police adapted the policy of picking up innocent Sikhs, killing them in fake encounters and then either cremating them as unidentified bodies or throwing them in the rivers. Before cremation the bodies were taken to local hospitals for post-mortems. One of such hospitals was Civil Hospital of Patti where according to the records the police had brought at least six bodies of Sikhs everyday between the periods of 1984 to 1994. Bringing in bodies for post-mortem and then cremating them had become very common for not only the staff members of the hospital but also for local shopkeepers. But the bodies brought in on the day of October 30th, 1993 turned the common practice to a rare incident.

Surjeet Singh
On October 30th, 1993 police of Bhikhivind brought two bodies for post mortem to the hospital of Patti. The police stationed two guards on duty and the rest of them left. The guards were drinking tea and everyone else was doing everything they had been doing for the last 10 years which was usual as everyday. The janitor, Karamveer, was responsible for cleaning the room where the dead bodies were kept. This was his regular job. When he entered the room, he saw one dead body on the table and another on the floor. He lifted the cloth from the face of the dead body and just like he expected the body was of a young Sikh who was not more than 23 years old. He then uncovered the face of the body that was placed on the floor. He observed that this body was of a Sikh about 20 years old. Before he could cover the face back up, the young Sikh opened his eyes. Karamveer, the janitor, was terrified as this had never happened before. He thought it was a ghost as no one could survive a bullet shot in the head. He ran back and when he opened the door to get out the Sikh said, “Water.” He came back to the body slowly and confirmed that it was indeed the Sikh who was speaking and not a ghost. The Sikh again said, “Water.”

Karamveer was very scared. He quickly left the room and came back with a glass of water and put some in the mouth of the Sikh. After few minutes, he left the room and locked the door from

Post Mortem Room
outside. Hiding from the police he went to the office of Pharmacist Bikaramjit Singh who after hearing the incident was very shocked. They both went to Dr. Jaswant Singh and informed him of the incident. Dr. Jaswant Singh quickly assembled a team of doctors and nurses and went to the room where dead bodies were being kept. The policemen were surprised to see the team of hospital staff. The doctor quickly opened the door and observed the body that had come back to life. He instructed his team to take the body to the treatment room. Both policemen were shocked and had no idea what had happened. They tried to stop the doctors and urged that the bodies had been brought for post-mortem. But the doctors angrily replied, “Our duty is also to save lives and this Sikh is not dead yet.” The policemen had nothing more to say and both of them went to local PCO.

All local police officers were informed. S.P. Khoobi Raam from Taran Taaran, Paramjit Teja from Bhikhivind and Inspector Seeta Raam from Valhota quickly left with their policemen and reached hospital of Patti. In the hospital, Dr. Jaswant Singh had begun treating the patient. The Sikh was speaking very lowly and the hospital staff understood only two of the words he spoke, “Cold….blanket…” Quickly he was rapped in a blanket. The doctor gave him some shots and after a while the patient started to get better. The doctor wanted to inquire the background and living address of the patient so he could send a message to his parents but the patient could not say anything as he had lost most of his hearing due to a bullet shot that was fired in his head at point blank range. He said to the doctor, “Write it down. I can’t hear you.” The doctor wrote down his question and showed it to the patient. After reading the question, he replied, “I am son of Harbhajan Singh, resident of Valhota. My name is Surjeet Singh. I was picked up by the police 16 days ago and kept in Bhikhivind jail where I was tortured on daily basis. Today, they created the incident of an encounter by shooting me and then brought me here.”

Hearing the brutality of the police everyone was left surprised. The Sikh patient further told that a young girl from his village worked in the hospital as a nurse. The nurse was not present there at the time but her father Mahanvaar was there and the doctor told him to inform the parents of the patient. A few minutes later, the police vehicles and many police officers came to the hospital. Seeta Raam was wearing an undershirt, a dhoti and slippers. He had left his house right after he received a call from Khoobi Raam. By this time, the news of a dead body coming to life had spread all around the area and a large crowd had gathered in front of the hospital. In the large crowd there was present a Human Rights Organization worker, Surinder Singh who had informed many high ranking government officials and requested them to take action as he feared the police might take away Surjeet Singh again and kill him in another fake encounter.

Parents of Surjeet Singh
Inspector Seeta Raam quickly went to the treatment room to pick up Surjeet Singh. The doctors tried their best to stop them but were unable to do anything in front of the police assault. Seeta Raam quickly grabbed Surjeet Singh and with the help of his constables threw him in the jeep and took him away through the crowd. According to the eye witnesses, shots of bullet fires were heard. The police had shot Surjeet Singh at the same spot in the head and after confirming his death took him back to the hospital after half an hour. After his post-mortem they took the dead body to a grave yard. By this time, parents of Surjeet Singh had arrived and found out everything from the hospital staff. They quickly ran to the grave yard but were stopped by the police. One policeman said, “Where do you think you are going?” The mother replied, “Son, I just want to identify the dead bodies.” Another policeman recognized her and said, “She is the mother of that guy.” Hearing this, the mother started crying and requested, “If you know I am his mother then why don’t you show me my son’s body?” In reply to this, the mother was physically assaulted and right in front of her eyes her son was cremated as an unidentified body just like thousands of other Sikhs.

Does this leave any doubt that the Indian government and its officials are the real terrorists who eliminated an entire generation of Sikhs in the name of terrorism? The family received no justice. The police officers were promoted and encouraged to continue their campaigns of terrorism which they happily did.

Taken from Indian Terrorism on the land of Punjab by Baljit Singh Khalsa

Translated by SikhFreedom.com