Dhatt Case

A look at the strength and resilience of one family, and how they fought impunity for 25 years through video interviews, photographs, and case documents.

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The Story

On July 23, 1989, Punjab Police officers abducted, tortured, and unlawfully killed 35-year old Sikh community leader Kuljit Singh Dhatt. For 25 years, his family has relentlessly pursued justice, attending over a hundred hearings, petitioning various courts and commissions, and enduring police harassment and intimidation of witnesses. On May 9, 2014, a judge convicted three police officers of abduction in order to murder Kuljit Singh Dhatt, sentencing them to a mere five years. The legal battle continues, now in the higher courts. 

Here's a look at the strength and resilience of one family, through video interviews, photographs, and case documents, as they fought impunity for 25 years.

Sunday, July 23, 1989

On the morning of July 23, 1989, Kuljit Singh Dhatt was on his way to the Bhogpur Sugar Mill when the Punjab Police illegally abducted him. Watch his family members and the eyewitnesses in his case discuss what happened on that fateful day.

  • A Labor Of Love: Contesting Impunity
  • A False Accusation
  • Police Fabricates A Story
  • Kuljit Singh Dhatt's Bhog
  • Parkash Kaur Asks For Judicial Investigation
  • Habeas Corpus Petition Filed
  • Dhatt Family Holds A Protest
  • Ajit Sandhu Threatens Dhatt Family
  • Family seeks answers
  • The Randev Commission
  • Harbhajan Dhatt Abducted
  • Randev Commission Report Submitted
  • Sections 364 VS 365
  • Section 364
  • Stay Application

The Report: No Stone Unturned

Read an in-depth analysis of the Kuljit Singh Dhatt case, including the role of state institutions in fabricating evidence, intimidating witnesses, protecting the perpetrators, and delaying justice. The report spotlights those who have stood by the truth, from family members to eyewitnesses. The family filed a case in September 1989 and a sessions court delivered a verdict on May 9, 2014. Learn why it took 25 years to reach a trial verdict and why justice still has not been delivered.

Photo Essay: In Loving Memory--Celebration & Resistance