The Properties occupied by the Punjab Police once belonged to Kharkus Families

Police Atrocities

In Punjab, the legacy of the Kharku Movement continues to haunt families even after the conflict has subsided. The Punjab Police took control of houses that once belonged to Kharku families, repurposing them for various uses. Even today, many properties remain under the occupation of the Punjab Police, leaving these families in a state of ongoing uncertainty and deprivation. This article explores how these actions have impacted the families of Kharkus, leading to fear, harassment, and financial struggles.

Bhai Sukhdev Singh Babbar’s House

Bhai Sukhdev Singh Babbar had a house worth Rs 11 lakh (1990s price) in Patiala, where he planned to move. However, the Punjab Police had taken control of the property, assuming the role of unofficial custodians of the Khakrkus’ ill-gotten gains. Many houses that once belonged to Kharkus were being used by the police for official or personal purposes.

Bhai Satnam Singh Bawa’s House

The house in Phase 3-A, Mohali, belonging to Bhai Satnam Singh Bawa, who was involved in the multi-crore Ludhiana bank robbery and attained martyrdom in 1991, had been converted by a CRPF battalion commandant into his office-cum-residence.

Baba Manochahal’s House

Baba Gurbachan Singh Manochal’s house in Naushera Pannua was converted into a police post, but it was later released by the Punjab Police in January 2021 after a long legal battle by Baba Manochahal’s family.

Baba Manochahal’s house in Naushera Pannuan, which was turned into a police station, was reclaimed by the family in January 2021 after a lengthy legal battle.

The police had also acquired Patiala’s ‘White House’ and ‘Pink House’, which belonged to the Babbar Khalsa.

Punjab Police Statement

In 1992, a report by Kanwar Sandhu highlighted D.R. Bhatt, IG (Border Range), defending the police’s use of these houses as a means to instill confidence in people. However, many disagreed with this strategy, calling it illegal and likening it to “making Punjab Police’s cats guard a can of milk.” Despite demands for an inquiry into the alleged involvement of many police officers, no action was taken.

Non-Kharku Families also suffered

The Punjab Police not only occupied but also destroyed, burned, and looted thousands of houses belonging to Kharku families, turning them into illegal police posts. They also targeted the properties of non-Kharku families if it was known that a Kharku had visited them even once. Despite these atrocities, not a single family has received any financial compensation to date. Many of these families, already struggling financially, were unable to rebuild their homes after the destruction. The lack of compensation has only added to their hardships, highlighting the ongoing injustices faced by these families.

Bhai Gurjant Singh BudhSinghwala’s house

In BudhSingwala village, which belonged to KLF chief Gurjant Singh, the Punjab Police killed Bhai Gurjant Singh’s brother, Kulwant Singh, in a fake encounter. The police atrocities did not end there; they also looted goods from the house and stole their front gate, which was installed at their police station in Bagha Purana for several years. The family claimed the gate back in 2021 after a legal battle.

Rashpal Singh Chandra Family

Many families were forced to flee their homes and villages due to fear of police atrocities. For instance, the family of Bhai Rashpal Singh Chandra experienced extreme trauma as his father, mother, and wife were reportedly disappeared by the Punjab Police. As a result, Bhai Chandra’s grandmother and his son had to live in hiding for many years, fearing harassment by the police.

Bhai Lakhbir Singh Rode

In October 2023, the NIA (National Investigation Agency), an agency working for the central government of India, sealed off one-fourth of his share in the ancestral land. The court ordered the confiscation of land at Kothe Gurupura (Rode) village of Smalsar Police station under section 33(5) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, measuring 43 kanal 3 marlas belonging to Bhai Rode. Acting on the court’s orders, the NIA team sealed his land and put up a government board on it.

Bhai Lakhbir Singh Rode, the nephew of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, passed away on 1 December 2023 at the age of 72. According to the Sikh diaspora, Bhai Rode was very ill in his last days, and the NIA cases registered in his name are completely false and fabricated. These cases were part of the strategy and mission of repressing families who demanded Sikh rights.

Gurpatwant Pannu and Bhai Hardeep Singh Nijjar

Earlier, the NIA took similar action by confiscating the properties of Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who were participating in the 2020 referendum elections. Bhai Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot and killed by two gunmen wearing dark clothes with hoods outside a Sikh temple in a Vancouver suburb on the evening of 18 June 2023.

Police Goal

The police’s actions aim to financially weaken families, even after killing their family members in fake encounters. The sufferings of Kharku’s families have been immense. They have faced pressure from the Punjab Police to sell their properties at lower prices, often under duress and threats of harassment. The police have occupied their homes, once belonging to the Kharkus, using them for their own purposes. This has not only deprived these families of their rightful properties but has also added to their trauma and financial hardships. Despite these challenges, many families have continued to fight for justice, seeking to reclaim what is rightfully theirs.

-wriiten by editor of
some Reference from: Kanwar Sandhu, “Punjab Police’s Role in Militancy,” India Today, October 31, 1992.

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