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The Last Killing

Bahal Singh

One main thing the police did while committing false encounters is that they would change the clothing of the individuals. They would change the individual’s clothing and shoot his face in order to make the individual unidentifiable.

— Satwant Singh Manak

Bahal Singh was a 36-year old farmer when the police killed him. He was married to Amarjit Kaur and had five children. Amandeep Singh describes his father as a “very gentle” individual. Prior to killing him, the police had taken Bahal Singh into custody and tortured him on one to two occasions.

In October or November 1991, seven to eight uniformed Punjab policemen from Mehna took Bahal Singh into custody from a bus stand. Police also took two other individuals into custody along with Bahal Singh. They are identified as Kehar Singh, son of Suhawa Singh and a resident of village Padhri in Firozpur district; and Gurmukh Singh, a resident of village Langeana in Faridkot district. The family learned that police detained Bahal Singh at Mehna police station for two to three days. Police demanded 5,000 rupees from his family in exchange for Bahal Singh’s release. Sometime in October or November 1991, security officials of the Punjab Police executed Bahal Singh near the kiln in village Kokri Kalan. Police also killed Kehar Singh and Gurmukh Singh along with him.

Following Bahal Singh’s killing, the family approached the Punjab Police of Mehna to inquire about the killing, and security forces admitted to killing Bahal Singh in an encounter.