Saturday, 3 December, 2022
HomePoliticsPhoolka brings up 33-year-old police firing deaths in Punjab House, questions inaction

Phoolka brings up 33-year-old police firing deaths in Punjab House, questions inaction

Four Punjab youth were killed in firing by police and paramilitary personnel during protests against the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib.

Text Size:

Chandigarh: A 33-year-old, almost-forgotten chapter of the dark days of militancy in Punjab returned to haunt the state assembly Wednesday when the Speaker admitted that the government had not submitted any action-taken report on the infamous Nakodar killings of 1986.

The report was to be based on the findings of the Gurnam Singh Commission inquiry, which had submitted its conclusion to the Punjab government in October 1986.

The Nakodar killings had taken place on 4 February 1986, when the Punjab police and paramilitary forces fired at a group of All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) members who were protesting against the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib. Four Sikh youth were killed and several injured in the police firing.

The then Alkali government in the state, led by Surjit Singh Barnala, set up a commission of inquiry to find out if the police firing was unwarranted. The commission’s report was neither made public, nor any action taken on its findings.

The families of the four youth killed have been demanding for over three decades that the report be made public.

The matter of the Gurnam Singh Commission report was raised by senior advocate and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA H.S. Phoolka in the assembly during the second day of the budget session Wednesday.

Phoolka, who resigned from the party in January, was present in the Assembly as his resignation is yet to be accepted.

When Phoolka demanded that the report be made public, Punjab Speaker Rana Kanwar Pal Singh informed the House that it had been tabled in the Vidhan Sabha in March 2001 and was a public document that could be accessed by anyone. The Speaker, however, added that the action-taken report that follows commissions of inquiry had not been submitted by the government.

Phoolka replied that even if the report was tabled in the Vidhan Sabha, the fact that it was not accompanied by an action-taken report makes it a document that has no legality.

Also read: Exchange land with Pakistan, make Kartarpur part of India: Punjab assembly resolution

‘No action’

In August last year, another AAP MLA, Kanwar Sandhu, had highlighted the Nakodar killings during a House discussion on the Behbal Kalan episode of 2015, when two Sikhs protesting against the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib were killed in police firing.

Later, Sandhu also wrote to Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, seeking the constitution of a special investigation team (SIT) and action on the findings of the Gurnam Singh Commission report.

In his letter, Sandhu, a former journalist, said that he had managed to access the report through sources in March 1987. Referring to his subsequent reportage for The Tribune, he said the commission had held several senior government officers and police personnel, guilty for the killings.

The officers in question, he added, went on to occupy senior positions in the government.

Also read: Punjab rebel parties plan to fight Lok Sabha polls on common symbol, will be first to do so

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism

Most Popular