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This is the family of Bhai Jasbir Singh Jassa Manki. For the last few years this family has been subjected to much anguish and despair. However, Bhai sahib’s tragic story started in the 1990s during the peak of the Sikh Genocide. Like many of the political prisoners, bhai sahib had been repeatedly tormented by authorities prior to his arrest in 2010. Bhai sahib was arrested alongside many other activists and innocent civilians in 1990 and had to spend two years in prison before he was released. In 1997 Bhai sahib married Bibi Karamjit Kaur and it was the start of a new life. But this was not meant to be and the police arrested bhai sahib a few years into the marriage while his two daughters were just babies. Once again bhai sahib was forced to leave his work behind that he had worked hard to create for his family and he was confined to prison once again. From the late 90s till he was granted bail in 2007, bhai sahib once again endured the harsh and dirty conditions of prison life.

In 2007, Bibi Karamjit Kaur gave birth to their son, and family were determined to lead a normal family life, with bhai sahib once again working long hours to set up a small property business. After spending so much time in prison, it is very difficult to begin a new life with very little support but still bhai sahib was motivated and positive as he was responsible for a young family and wanted to put all the torture and pain behind him. Yet the authorities had something else planned for the family…

Following bhai sahib’s bail, for the next three years until his actual arrest in 2010, the police were consistently harassing him. For example they would turn up at bhai sahib’s office or at the family home for random questioning. This method is traumatising for both the victim and his family as they are made to feel as if they are criminals and that they are worthless even though they have committed no crime. When the final arrest occurred in February 2010, the police arrived in civilian dress to ensure they were not identified in any way. They arrived at approximately 4pm in the afternoon when the whole family was at home including members of their extended family. The police officers grabbed bhai sahib and demanded that he come with them immediately to the police station for immediate questioning. Bhai Jasbir Singh obliged under the assumption that the officers would question him as they were doing over the last few years. Little did he know that that was the last time he would be able to freely interact with his family. From there onwards he has only met his loved with in handcuffs under tight surveillance.


Bhai sahib was taken to a police station in Ludhiana but his whereabouts were unknown to his family. As the family were running from pillar to post to locate bhai sahib, he was subject to brutal torture including electric shocks, beatings with metal rods, the roller technique. Throughout the torture he was questioned as to the whereabouts of Bhai Bakshish Singh who was reported as being absconded by the authorities. Police were questioning everyone who had come into contact with Bhai Bakshish Singh and often the ‘questioning’ tactics were as cruel as what Bhai Jasbir had endured. In the case of Bhai Jasbir Singh, during his previous stay in prison he was living alongside Bhai Bakshish Singh and therefore knew him quite well and now that he was missing, the police were targeting anyone and everyone who knew him.

The day after Bhai Jasbir Singh was arrested, scores of police officers arrived at the family home. Instead of politely telling the whereabouts of Bhai Jasbir Singh, police officers launched into a tirade of verbal abuse directed towards Bibi Karamjit Kaur and her three children. To this day when the children see any unknown male near their home they feel anxious and scared, fearing for their lives due to the psychological trauma. During the house raid, they demanded to know where Bhai Jasbir Singh was hiding weapons and explosives. The difference in motives should be noted. The family were being questioned in regards to arms and explosives while Bhai Jasbir Singh was being tortured as he was acquainted with Bhai Bakshish Singh. To this day no arms or explosives have been found but still Bhai Jasbir Singh has been accused under the Arms and Explosives Act and has been sent to Nabha Maximum Security Prison

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