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The Last Killing

Nachattar Singh

The police asked Nachattar Singh whether he can recognize [an alleged militant]. He said that he can…. They cut his hair and beard, they made him completely clean-shaven so no one could recognize that he is Nachattar Singh. They kept him for about 15 days in which time they weren’t able to locate [the alleged militant]. After that they interrogated Nachattar Singh and killed him in a false police encounter.

— Satwant Singh Manak

Nachattar Singh, also known as Fauji, was 52 years old when police killed him. He worked as a security guard at a bank in village Bhagha Purana in Moga district. He was married to Amarjeet Kaur with whom he had three children.

Sometime from February 15, 1993 and March 15, 1993, 20 to 25 uniformed policemen from Badhni Kalan beat and took custody of Nachattar Singh from his home. Inspector Darshan Singh of the Punjab Police from Badhni Kalan was involved in the incident. Nachattar Singh’s parents witnessed the incident. Gurcharan Singh, his brother, learned that police detained Nachattar Singh at Badhni Kalan police station in Moga for 15 days. Gurcharan Singh explains, “Then after a few days, my other brother, Darshan Singh, gathered some men from the village and went after my brother, Nachattar Singh, to Badhni Kalan police station, but the police also took him into custody. Due to fear of the police, we did not go after [Nachattar Singh and Darshan Singh].”

Sometime in March 1993, security officials of the Punjab Police from Badhni Kalan executed Nachattar Singh near the drain in village Badhni Kalan. Nachattar Singh’s family learned about his killing through a report in the Ajit newspaper, which described the killing as a genuine encounter. Security officials did not return Nachattar Singh’s body to his family. Gurcharan Singh explains, “After a few days, a police official … told [us] that the police brutally tortured Nachattar Singh. The police hung him upside down, hit him with clubs, tore his groins, pulled his nails, and brutally beat him into a very bad condition.” Nachittar Singh’s brother Darshan Singh remains “disappeared” to this day.

After a few days, Nachattar Singh’s family approached Inspector Darshan Singh at the Badhni Kalan police station to inquire about the killings. He responded, “Whatever was going to happen has happened. You should not run away – stay at home and farm.” That night, security officials from Sirhind in Fatehgarh Sahib district took custody of Gurcharan Singh. Gurcharan Singh describes, “At Sirhind CIA staff, they brutally beat me. The police hung me upside down. The police would drink at night and then brutally beat me. [They] removed all my clothes, laid me upside down, and hit me with straps. [They] also beat me with clubs and tore my groin.” Security officials also took custody of Nachattar Singh’s son and took him to Sirhind CIA Staff in Fatehgarh Sahib district. The police beat and detained Gurcharan Singh and Nachattar Singh’s son for 20 to 25 days. The village council of village Daudhar Sharki in Moga district got Gurcharan Singh and Nachattar Singh’s son released. Manak implicates the following police officers in the torture and killing of Nachattar Singh: SI Darshan Singh Lahor, SI Hardial Singh Malhi, and DSP Bachan Singh Randhawa.