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Gurjant Singh had a relatively good business and was happily supporting his elderly parents, wife and three children when Punjab Police surrounded his home in the early hours of the morning in the early hours of the morning in July, 2010.

As a deeply devout Gursikh, Bhai Gurjant Singh was actively involved in local community events. Gurjant Singh had been part of various dharmic groups and in 2009 he travelled to Ludhiana with other activists to protest against the activities of Divyajyoti Jagran group. It is during this time that Gurjant Singh became known to authorities. Before the actual illegal arrest in July, the police had attempted to make a house raid in June 2010 after Gurjant Singh had been part of a local group which had arranged a nagar kirtan in the area. Gurjant Singh was not at home at that time however his family was severely harassed during this house raid. After this Gurjant and his family contacted a local lawyer for legal advice and to identify which police station the police had come from. After a complaint was registered by Gurjant Singh, the local authorities denied that any local police had attempted to make a raid in an attempt to search for him.

However a month later in July, 2010 police surrounded Gurjant’s home in his village. A group of officers climbed over the wall at the back of the house and entered the bedroom where Gurjant, his wife and their three young children were sleeping. Officers immediately separated Gurjant’s wife and screaming children as well as preventing his parents from entering the bedroom while a group of other officers entered the property andcornered him in the back room. They told him to get ready immediately and other officers started to go through family’s belongings while other officers kept the rest of the family members away from Gurjant. The officers kept confusing the family in regards to where they would be taking Gurjant and therefore the children were very shaken and scared. The police officers refused to wait for the village head to arrive and began to roughly escort Gurjant Singh to the police vehicles outside. Upon seeing this, Gurjant’s eldest daughter ran after him and would not let go. She was screaming and kept asking the officers where they were taking her father. Officers started to pull her away from Gurjant and were verbally abusive to her and rest of family. Another interesting point is that the number plates of all police vehicles appeared to be from Delhi. This is a common tactic to confuse families and loved ones when they begin to locate the detainee.

The eldest daughter has since become psychologically traumatized by the arrest and subsequent events and is suffering from chronic TB while Gurjant Singh’s wife feels very lonely and feels scared as the parents are becoming very ill and she has to manage the whole household. His father is also feeling very guilty as he is not able to earn adequately for the whole family as falls ill very oftenand so they are struggling to survive.

From 2010, Gurjant Singh has been incarcerated in Nabha Maximum Security Prison in Patiala and since his case has come to the attention of Sikh Relief, the charity is assisting in legal, medical and educational fees. The family has sent this message for the sangat:  We thank SOPW greatly and we hope that they continue to support us so that we can all witness the release of Gurjant Singh. We thank the sangat and hope that they continue to support us and other families in our position. Without them we would have been lost as we are not very educated and feel helpless in our present circumstances”.

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