He fought against the ‘disappearing’ of young men from Punjab. Then one day, he ‘disappeared’ too - ALL Jobs News

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Tuesday, 1 September 2020

He fought against the ‘disappearing’ of young men from Punjab. Then one day, he ‘disappeared’ too

September 1995 witnessed the enforced disappearance and murder of Jaswant Singh Khalra, the champion of Punjab’s “disappeared.” His wife and human rights defender, Paramjit Kaur Khalra, pursued his legal case and the Punjab mass cremations case, which exposed officially sanctioned impunity. The following is an excerpt from the book Faith, Gender, and Activism in the Punjab Conflict: The Wheat Fields Still Whisper, by Mallika Kaur.

Rumours rustled the wheat fields. [Jaswant’s former colleague] Piara Singh’s family had heard about the Durgiana Mandir cremation ground and thought he may have been taken there. “Jaswant Singh, with his usual composure, made his way out there,” says Paramjit. “He asked the attendant if one Piara Singh’s body had been brought.”

“‘Oh, Sardarji, every day they are bringing eight or ten bodies!’”

“He asked how he would know if Piara Singh was there or whether the body was disposed of down a river or into a ditch?”

“‘Oh, there is a register to check that.’”

Paramjit [Jaswan’s wife] lifts her right hand, fingers clenching an invisible pencil.

“They would have left little trace of their massive crimes, were it not for the entries the municipal workers had to make in crematoria registers, documenting the purchase of the firewood for the pyres. These entries often noted name, village,...

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from Scroll.in https://scroll.in/article/971428/he-fought-against-the-disappearing-of-young-men-from-punjab-then-one-day-he-disappeared-too?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=public

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