By Sudip Kaur, VFF Press Release, Sep 3, 2006
Amritsar, Panjab, India - Darshan Singh, a 34 year old farmer, has not
been seen since he was ‘picked up’ by Panjab police a week ago and his
family believes he is being tortured. Voices For Freedom (VFF) has filed
an application requesting the United Nations Special Rapporteur on
Torture, Manfred Nowak, to intervene under the provisions of the
Convention Against Torture. India is a signatory to the Convention
Against Torture which prohibits torture.
VFF has also filed an application to the National
Human Rights Commission in India seeking his immediate release and
safety. Various human rights groups, including Amnesty International and
Human Rights Watch have also been alerted.
On Aug 27th 2006 Darshan Singh was arrested by the
Indian CIA (Criminal Intelligence Bureau) at about 5.10 pm.
Plain-clothes policemen picked up Darshan Singh and Harbhajan Singh, a
70 year old gentleman, during a police raid on a house near the Chowki
bypass, 100 meters away from the Majitha Road in Amritsar. During the
raid, the house was surrounded by 2 private cars with policemen in civil
clothes and a dozen civil officers.
Harbhajan Singh, who was released after 2 days, said
that Darshan Singh, who has not been produced in court or released, is
being tortured. He told VFF, “For the first day, Darshan Singh was
tortured in front of me, where the police kicked him, stood on him and
used rollers on his knees. Then they spread his legs as far as they
could go till Darshan lost consciousness. Water was thrown on his face
to wake him up and the torture continued. Darshan Singh’s face had
swollen up.” The next day Harbhajan Singh was moved out of the room he
shared with Darshan Singh. He could hear Darshan Singh’s shrieks and
painful cries, in the neighboring cell.
Telegrams have been sent to the Chief Minister Panjab,
the Punjab Human Rights Commission and to the Chief Judicial Magistrate
Amritsar. Three telegrams have been sent to the Session Judge Gurdev
Singh, Chief Judicial Magistrate Mr Varinder Aggarwal, Deputy
Commissioner Amritsar, Mr. Bhullar. Darshan Singh’s family continue to
wait for justice.
Darshan Singh’s aged mother