Denial of “correct treatment”, release on bail, Tarn Taran Blast accused Malkit Singh dies in custody
Jalandhar: On September 4, 2019, when the Tarn Taran explosion took place, the family of one of the accused – Malkit Singh – were busy laundering their home and making other preparations for an impending marriage. Malkit was due to be married on September 22, 2019.
Ahead of the planned wedding, Malkit, 28, was arrested for his alleged involvement in planting the bomb that exploded in a vacant area in the village of Pandori Gola in the Tarn Taran district.
Two years later, Malkit, who suffered from juvenile diabetes (type 1 diabetes mellitus) and heart disease, died in judicial custody at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital in Amritsar on Tuesday (October 5th). His cremation took place Wednesday evening.
Although Malkit continued to seek medical bail, all of his pleas were dismissed. Malkit’s family alleged that their son, who was housed in Amritsar Central Prison, died for lack of proper medical care.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had registered a case under Articles 304 153 A, 120-B of the IPC, Articles 13, 16, 18, 20, 23 of the Law on Illegal Activities (Prevention ) (UAPA) and Sections 4, 5 of the Explosive Substances Act against Malkit and other defendants.
Two people, Vikram Singh from Kadgill village and Harpreet Singh from Bachre village, were killed in the blast. Another accused, Gurjant Singh, lost his eyes in the explosion. After the explosion, former Punjabi chief minister Amarinder Singh said the defendants were trying to make a bomb in a bottle when the explosion took place. The case was later forwarded to the NIA and they filed a complaint against nine people in March 2020.
Talk to ThreadMalkit’s older brother Ravinderjit Singh said doctors from the Chandigarh Higher Institute of Medical Education and Research suggested that Malkit undergo cardiothoracic surgery. “The prison authorities never heeded our appeals despite the fact that he remained under treatment at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, Amritsar, shortly after his arrest in connection with the Tarn Taran explosion. He suffered from heart disease, tested positive for COVID-19 and also suffered from tuberculosis for nine months. The prison authorities were aware of his state of health, but they never responded, ”he said. .
Ravinderjit said his family bought and supplied insulin injections and tablets for his heart to Malkit using their meager income. “There was no proper medical assistance from the prison administration. The callous attitude of the prison authorities can be measured by the fact that the doctors at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, Amritsar had written to the prison staff that they did not have cardiac treatment available with them, so Malkit should be immediately referred to PGI, Chandigarh. When we went to PGI Chandigarh on February 11, 2020, the doctors asked the prison authorities to pay Rs 1.3 lakh and another amount of Rs 50,000 for the cardiac treatment of Malkit, but they never submitted this amount. to the hospital. And so he couldn’t be healed.
Malkit’s mother, Sukhraj Kaur, was even willing to have her son treated in a private hospital, but he was never released on bail. “Whether it is the NIA tribunal in Mohali, the high court in Punjab and Haryana or the Supreme Court, not all of our pleas have been heard,” Ravinderjit said.
A Sikh Amritdhari, Malkit was a devotee ‘sewadar‘at the Golden Temple, Amritsar. His family said he used to go to the Golden Temple every night, do sewa, and come home early in the morning.
“Even on the night of September 4 to 5, 2020, when the Tarn Taran explosion took place, he was at the Golden Temple. And we were busy with the wedding preparations. On September 6, a team of CIA Tarn Taran personnel came to our home and picked us up, including the woman Malkit was to marry and her family. We were in shock and didn’t understand what was going on. On September 7, Malkit himself went to appear before CIA personnel, after which we returned home. From there began the trial of Malkit. We didn’t know where Malkit was, he was tortured beyond words. His feet remained blue for almost six months and he was not even able to walk on his own, ”Ravinderjit said.
Malkit was associated with Damdami Taksal, a group of Sikh missionaries based at Mehta chowk in Amritsar, who came to prominence with Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale during Operation Bluestar, before the Sikh-Nirankari clashes of 1978, the Anandpur Sahib resolution, the Khalistan movement and the darkness period of activism in the Punjab.
His brother claimed that it was because of Malkit’s background in Damdami Taksal that he was arrested in the Tarn Taran explosion case. “The NIA opposed my brother’s request for bail, saying he was radicalized and pro-Khalistan. He didn’t even own a cell phone. His life was Sikhism and Sewa. But we were told that he was part of a terrorist group based in Pakistan, which was planning terrorist activities. Suddenly our whole family was treated like terrorists, ”he said.
Attorney Jaspal Singh Manjhpur, Malkit’s attorney, said he was a Sikh preacher. “All of these claims that he was pro-Khalistan are baseless. There was no such evidence, ”he said.
Ravinderjit said he has decided to wage a legal battle against the prison authorities for denying Malkit the right treatment, even if it means going to the Supreme Court. “With the death of my brother, not only ours, but her fiancé’s hopes are also forever dashed. She stood beside him like a rock. Even his family used to go to meet Malkit in prison because they knew his credentials. We would have married him. Now we feel helpless.