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The Last Killing

Satwant Singh Sodhi

They put a blanket down and had him take his clothes off. With his clothes off, they made him lay down on his back and beat him with batons. Then they flipped him over. This means they flip him on his stomach and fit a long stick here [points to back side of knees underneath the thighs]...They bend the legs up and have them reach the individuals head. It causes all the nerves and insides of the stomach area to break. This is how much they interrogated him. …When my duty was over at 2 o’clock, the officers got tired of beating him as well. They told me to take him to lockup. I took him away…. When the next officer came on duty after me, [Satwant Singh] asked for the fan to be turned on because his head hurt. I mean his whole body was battered and broken, his head was going to be in pain…. His body was unable to handle the trauma and he died at 4 o’clock. The police took him to the Nihal Singh river, cut his body up, cut open his stomach, and threw him into the river.

— Satwant Singh Manak

Satwant Singh Sodhi served as president of the All India Sikh Students Federation for his area. Prior to the detention leading to his killing, police detained and tortured Satwant Singh three other times.

Between August 15, 1991 and September 15, 1991, 10 uniformed security officials from Moga police took custody of Satwant Singh from the Kotkapura Bypass in Moga district. Along with Satwant Singh, police also took into custody Hardeep Singh, son of Bikkar Singh, and resident of village Chogawan in Moga district. Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Bachan Singh Randhawa of the Punjab Police from Moga was involved in the incident. Hardeep Singh informed Satwant Singh’s family about his detention. Satnaam Singh, Satwant Singh’s brother, learned that police detained Satwant Singh at the CIA Staff in Moga for 15 days. At some point from September 1, 1991 to October 30, 1991, security officials of the Punjab Police from Moga executed Satwant Singh in the village fields near the canal in village Badhni Kalan in Moga district. Manak informed the family that Satwant Singh was tortured before his execution. Satnaam Singh, his brother, said: “The Moga CIA Staff brutally beat [Satwant Singh] and tore his groin. He was hung upside down and rollers were applied [on him].”

According to Manak, the police dumped his body in the canal. Manak implicates DSP Bachan Singh Randhawa, Head Constable Gurdev Singh, and SI Hardial Singh Malhi in Satwant Singh’s torture and execution.