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The Last Killing

Baljinder Singh

I had been married for six years. On March 2nd, it had been six years, and on March 20th, the police abducted him. On April 6th, the newspaper reported that he had been killed in an encounter. To this day, I have not received his death certificate.

— Inderjeet Kaur

Baljinder Singh, alias Balwinder Singh, was 34 years old when police extrajudicially executed him. He was married to Inderjeet Kaur, had three children, and lived in Faridkot district. Baljinder Singh worked for the Punjab State Electricity Board.

On March 20, 1992, 20 to 25 uniformed Punjab policemen from Faridkot took Baljinder Singh into custody from his relative’s home in village Ghaniewala in Faridkot district. He had gone there to visit his wife, who was staying with her parents after having given birth some days earlier. His wife and relatives witnessed his abduction. Police detained Baljinder Singh at Faridkot police station for 16 days from March 20, 1992 to April 5, 1992. Baljinder Singh’s wife and sister-in-law witnessed his detention at Faridkot police station. His wife Inderjeet Kaur explains, “When our relatives gathered together and went to Faridkot police station, police said, ‘You should not worry. We will release Baljinder Singh.’ Police kept stalling us in this manner for one week.” She adds, “Then, after eight to nine days, SHO Naginder Singh and some other police [officials] took my husband to my parental village Ghaniewala. At that time, I was in village Ghumiara. My sister-in-law told me about this afterwards. She told me that Baljinder Singh’s health was not good. Upon seeing him, it looked as if police had brutally beaten him.”

After one day, police allowed Inderjeet Kaur to meet her husband in Faridkot’s Kotwali police station. Her husband told her, “Police have brutally tortured me. They hit me with clubs, hung me upside down and beat me; [they] tore my groins, and keep asking me to tell them where my militant associates are.” On April 5, 1992, security officials from CIA Staff Moga executed Baljinder Singh near the Badni drain in Faridkot district. Manak witnessed the execution. Baljinder Singh’s family learned of his killing through a report published in the Ajit newspaper on April 6, 1992. Inderjeet Kaur explains, “We learned…from a police employee [Manak] that, after torturing Baljinder Singh, DSP Bachan Singh Randhawa cut off his head and separated the head from the body. Then, [he] tore open his stomach with a sword. After that, [he] threw [him] into...the river.”

Manak witnessed the police torture and execute both Nirmal Singh and Baljinder Singh in the same faked encounter. In his legal case papers, Manak implicates the following police officers in these crimes: Inspector Gurmej Singh Dhola, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Bachan Singh Randhawa in both cases, and two additional policemen in Baljinder Singh’s case: Sub Inspector (SI) Hardial Singh Malhi and Head Constable Om Parkash.