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Alleged Jailbreak “Mastermind” was Illegally Detained

January 31, 2004 | Comments Off on Alleged Jailbreak “Mastermind” was Illegally Detained

On January 22, 2004, three men accused of playing a role in the assassination of Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh escaped from jail.  Beant Singh, Chief Minister from 1992 until his assassination on August 31, 1995, was largely credited with suppressing the militancy in Punjab, sanctioning systematic human rights abuses in the police counterinsurgency campaign.  A week after his assassination, on September 6, 1995, Punjab police abducted human rights defender Jaswant Singh Khalra, after which he disappeared.

Now, the Punjab police claim to have found the mastermind of the jailbreak—Narain Singh Chaura.  However, the Chairman of the Punjab Human Rights Organization, human rights lawyer R.S. Bains, states that Chaura was first illegally detained by the police.  Only after a habeas corpus petition did the police formally place charges against Chaura.  This information has only been covered in an article in Indian Express, being ignored by other papers.


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