Human Rights

Mass Murderers In Our Midst

Simran Kaur

‘I believe in God and the life thereafter. When I die and come before the 6 million, I will say, I never forgot you…’

Simon Wiesenthal- Auschwitz Survivor And Famous Nazi Hunter.

In the midst of the Canadian Sikh community is a man who was responsible for the torture of thousands of Sikhs and the deaths of hundreds of Sikhs at a conservative estimate.

He wears a turban, and in his capacity of Punjab police, courtesy of the Indian state, he was a team leader in one of the most cruel interrogation units in the Punjab.

In 1985 Gurmail Singh ‘Bai’ took an 18 year old son in Kerowal, Amritsar and in front of his mother slit the boy’s throat. The body of the young Sikh boy was thrown into a jeep. At the time Gurmail Singh ‘Bai’ was SHO of the City police station. The villagers nearby tried to protest frantically when they heard the news because of the brutal ways he killed people. Gurmail Singh killed pregnant women like Joga Singh’s wife, Kamaljit Kaur Malka, village Batala, Amritsar.

Gurmail Singh ‘Bai,’ as he was known put fear into people’s hearts, was in charge of Mal Mandi, Amritsar. Interrogation Center. Mal Mandi was such a brutal interrogation center that it was known as the butcher’s yard. There was not a normal interrogation involved in any of the so called interrogation centers throughout India for the Sikhs. They were torture chambers. Where the torture went on physically for days on end. Gurmail Singh ‘Bai’ was known as the Butcher Yard’s Team Leader. A position he relished so that even when he retired from his job as DSP, he was given special ‘SPO’ status for five years to carry on his good work.

Over the past decade it emerges that many perpetrators behind the brutal torture of the Sikhs are still in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Yet identifying them amongst their now ‘comfortable’ surroundings is difficult.

Simon Wiesenthal spent fifty years and his entire lifetime trying to identify and name and shame every perpetrator behind the Jewish holocaust. He often did this without the support of the Jewish state or Jews world wide. Many institutions even used his name but only a handful of researchers remained with him.

It may be that some time in the future Sikhs are in a position to legally make these people accountable for their actions as well as others within the ‘Indian state.’ In the worse scenario as a torture survivor says of the perpetrators “the community must make sure that these people are never allowed to live a normal life. They should be outcast from our society, from restaurants- wherever people see them in public- and treated with distant disdain so that they suffer the way they tortured our people to death.’’

Despite rhetoric from Sikh human rights groups in the West that never linked and properly developed aid to people in Punjab, the Sikhs are in danger of letting the perpetrators of the Sikh holocaust.

Wiesenthal, who chased old Nazis into the grave, also said that – even if someone signed a document to kill the Jews, even if they were a medic, who was told to cover up the brutal killing of a Jew…all people within the ‘system’ of fascism is a perpetrator. The Sikhs have not been able to even identify and record all the direct perpetrators let alone the ‘chain’ of perpetrators like judges, medics, civil servants, politicians, administrators, who were the chain of fascism behind the Sikh genocide. The Sikhs as a community have gone nowhere near to analyzing this.

Gurmail Singh Bai is known to be somewhere in Calgary. Wearing a turban, in his 70’s. However he is by no means the final perpetrator, although he does not allow the right to lead a normal life.

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