Human Rights

Where Is Darshan Singh?

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

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