Man struggles to get justice for son who fell to cops' bullets 37 yrs ago : The Tribune India

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Man struggles to get justice for son who fell to cops' bullets 37 yrs ago

On Feb 4, 1986, four men were killed in police firing during a protest over a sacrilege incident at Nakodar

Man struggles to get justice for son who fell to cops' bullets 37 yrs ago

The four men who were killed in police firing in Nakodar on February 4, 1986. Tribune photo



Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, February 3

Thirty-seven years after four Sikh men were killed during a peaceful religious protest at Nakodar, the family members of one of the victims continue to fight to get justice.

Saka Nakodar Day in cities of California

Baldev Singh, deceased Ravinder Singh’s father, has effectively built a global campaign on the issue. Upon his efforts, Elk Grove (California) Mayor Bobby Singh-Allen has recognised February 4 as Saka Nakodar Day. “Livingston and Manteca cities in California will proclaim February 4 as Saka Nakodar Day,” Baldev added.

On February 4, 1986, the Punjab Police had killed four Sikh men — Ravinder Singh, Baldhir Singh Multani, Jhilman Singh, and Harminder Singh. The men were protesting against the alleged desecration of Guru Granth Sahib, in an incident similar to the Behbal Kalan episode. The police took their bodies to the Civil Hospital in Nakodar for postmortem, where Ravinder Singh’s father Baldev Singh reportedly identified their bodies. Before the families could collect the bodies, the security forces had secretly cremated them.

Since then, the parents of three victims, other than of Ravinder Singh, have passed away. But despite his age, Baldev Singh has been continuously striving to get justice and has effectively built a global campaign on the issue. Upon his efforts, Elk Grove (California) Mayor Bobby Singh-Allen has recognised February 4 as Saka Nakodar Day on the 37th Martyrdom Day of Saka Nakodar.

“To commemorate this day, communities around the world raise awareness about the tragedy, support human rights, and promote diversity and inclusion. Elk Grove recognises the diversity of its community and the importance of understanding and appreciating the history and experiences of Sikh Americans,” she has said.

“Mayor Singh-Allen has expressed her support for the individuals and organisations who commemorate Saka Nakodar Day and work towards upholding human rights, promoting justice, and fostering a more inclusive community,” said Baldev Singh.

The Jakara Movement, a Sikh student organisation, has also observed the 37th Martyrdom Day of the Saka Nakodar Martyrs at the Guru Nanak Khalsa School Library in Gurdwara Sahib San Jose, California. To commemorate the occasion, the organisation has invited Dr Harinder Singh of Stanford University to speak and shed light on the ongoing denial of justice despite multiple regime changes in the last four decades.

“Livingston and Manteca cities of California will proclaim February 4 as Saka Nakodar Day. Proclamation will be issued in their council meetings, which will be held on February 7,” said Baldev.

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