LAAPATA Exhibition by Khalsa Aid

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To commemorate the more than three-decade-long anniversary of the brutal onslaught of the Sikhs in the year 1984, the renowned non-governmental organization in collaboration with a documentary company produced an exhibition of the family members disappeared under mysterious circumstances during the darkest phase Punjab possibly could ever witness. What followed the operation blue star remains etched forever till date and continues to haunt the people of Punjab who are now spread all across the world. It was nothing short of a state-sponsored violence.

 

A fearless person named Jaswant Singh Khalra, a bank director posted in Amritsar at the time when clouds of sorrow and horror were soon pervading the entire spectrum of the political environment of Punjab. He was the first person who discovered that the police had forcibly disappeared thousands and thousands of young Sikh men across the districts of Punjab on the suspicion of they being militants and cremated their bodies in various cremation grounds without informing their family members. His discovery began in search of his missing colleague eventually leading to the list of people who were burnt after brutal torture in police custody increasing by thousands. Official Records could only be acquired by misleading the police and the public officials. But Jaswant Singh Khalra had to pay a heavy price for this; he was picked up from outside his house whilst washing his car. He was murdered in police custody.

 

His fight and pain lives in us. But bothers the conscience of not only the Sikh community but also the masses that it took the longest time to condemn such acts of atrocities which have been leveled as genocide by the foreign government of Canada. Communalism blinds rationalism but also kills the humanitarian instinct amongst the people of India. Khalsa Aid has which has carved a niche for itself in standing above and apart in responding to call of help in the most dangerous places on earth, has done an extensive research in collecting data and information about the details of the family members whose lives can only be described as hopeless for they never knew whether their loved ones were actually alive or dead.

 

Who gives the state the unbridled power to give effects to it tyrannical mandate just on the pretext of flushing out terrorists? It is the worst form of injustice one can ever think of and the toughest truth one can ever accept or live with. Khalsa Aid has been instrumental in collecting funds for the family members of those who unfortunately became prey to the draconian mandate of the state.


About the Author:

Simran Kaur (UILS, PU)

 

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