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Sikh Relief is happy to announce that Harjant Singh who was incarcerated in Nabha Jail has now been released. On 14th February 2010, groups of police officers in civiulian clothing surrounded the family home in the early hours of the morning in Gurdaspur. Dressing in civilian clothing means that detainees and their loved ones are unable to identify police officers. 

When Harjant Singh opened the front door he was immediately surrounded and his wife and two young daughters were separated from him. The modest home was completely ransacked and searched while furniture was vandalised and broken. All the while, Bhai sahib and his wife Narinder Kaur repeatedly pleaded with the police officers to tell them what they were looking for. With complete disregard for the two young girls, the police began verbally abusing the couple and started to get physically abusive with Harjant Singh. This severely traumatised the young daughters and to this day they suffer from sleeping problems and have become socially withdrawn. Narinder Kaur described how her two daughters get scared even when the courtyard gate is opened in their home. Following the arrest of their father, the two young girls succumbed to high fever due to severe weakness and were unable to attend school. The police refused to tell the family anything and simply took Bhai sahib away from the family home and for three tense days, no one knew his whereabouts.

On the third day, Bibi Narinder Kaur found out what her husband had been accused of through the local newspaper. Her husband had been accused alongside Bhai Bakshish Singh, Bhai Jasbir Singh Jassa Manki and Bhai Pargat Singh for alleged ‘unlawful activities’ including harbouring arms and explosives. Releasing such allegations through newspapers and various media outlets before they have been proven true or false through the painfully slow judicial system means that the detainee is already shown to be guilty. In other words even if years later the prisoner proves his innocence in such false cases, the damage has already been done as by that time, their family has been isolated and usually the released prisoner and their family is unable to find employment due to social stigma. This is exactly the case for Bhai Harjant Singh’s family and may others. Upon hearing the news and the allegations made against Bhai Harjant Singh, his wife and two young daughters were ostracised and were the centre of malicious gossip in their locality. All of this has caused much stress for the family. 

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