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Illegal abduction and detention of Sikh Civil Rights campaigner Pal Singh

The 54 year old French National, who has championed Sikh Human Rights in Europe and North America, has in recent years committed himself fully to tackling social issues such as drug and alcohol abuse in Punjab.

According to eyewitness accounts, Mr Singh was picked up by plain clothed officers on the 22nd July, the Daily Ajit published an article on the arrest the next day.

The Punjab Police denied any knowledge of Mr Singh’s whereabouts, SOPW instructed legal counsel Rajwinder Singh Bains to challenge the legality of the arrest, filling for Habeas Corpus on the 26th July. The habeas corpus petition was taken up by Justice Arvind Kumar who appointed a warrant officer to trace Pal Singh, which then led to the Punjab Police finally declaring in a press conference later that day that 5 people (including Pal Singh) had been arrested.

This is a common feature in most of the cases that SOPW is currently working on. Sikh men are illegally detained for days, sometimes weeks before the detention is made official. During this time the detainee does not exist, and is when the majority or severity of torture is inflicted.

Disturbingly, the Times of India reported that the village Councillor who located Pal Singh in police custody, was concerned that Mr Singh bore signs of torture at the hands of the police.

SOPW is launching a campaign to free Mr Pal Singh and get redress. This will include lobbying the French and Indian Governments to take action.

 
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