Bibi Kulbir Kaur Dhami

Bibi Kulbir Kaur Dhami was kept in illegal custody by the Tarn Taran CIA staff for many months from 1993 to 1994. Miraculously, she survived. During that time she saw countless Singhs and Singhnia be tortured and then killed in fake encounters. In her own words, Bibi Kulbir Kaur recounts the final wish of one Bibi who was being taken to her death:

"Surinder Kaur was the principal of a Model School in Tarn Taran. Her school had approximately 400 children enrolled. Her husband was a former soldier and worked in a bank in Amritsar. It was perhaps July 1993 when he was arrested along with his wife and children and brought to the jail for having given shelter [to Sikh fighters]. With her was the son of a Pandit, Ramesh, who had become a Singh and had been arrested with his group [of fighters]. This group was tortured in front of us. They endured this cruelty for about a week and most of the group confessed to having participated in some actions, but this couple, [Bibi Surinder Kaur and her husband] were accused of having given the group shelter only.

Surinder Kaur kept begging that her body not be touched by any male police officer. She was kept with me for eight days in the women's lockup. In front of me, she was interrogated four times a day. The male police officers would beat her with sticks and use the ghotna. Three or four policemen would stand on the ghotna. I myself saw them drag her around by the chest. This entire interrogation was conducted by SP Operation Khubi Ram, DSP Gurmit Singh, Inspector Ram Nath, and SI Tarlochan Singh. They are completely responsible for torturing and killing her (it's another story that their orders were all coming from the top).

Four members of this group, along with Surinder Kaur's husband were tortured for a week and then killed in a fake encounter which was reported to then newspapers. One of those was a police officer, Dalbir Singh, who had abandoned his job, but he was apparently spared. All this [the encounter] happened in front of him and he could be a witness.

At around 8pm, the police took Surinder Kaur away from me while beating her. Surinder Kaur was dragged away as she wept and called out my name. They threw her in a car. She was sobbing and screaming her final wish to me, "You have to take care of my child now.. look after him.. this is your responsibility now." Surinder Kaur was killed that night. The police officials told me that she cried the entire time in the car and they told her to do paath after which they shot her. When she died, Surinder Kaur was wearing my suit and the police officials teased me that because my suit had gone in my place, I had been spared."

Bibi Kulbir Kaur Dhami now runs the Gur Asra Trust for Sikh orphans in Mohali.

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