Californian assembly resolution recognises Feb 4 as Saka Nakodar Day - Hindustan Times
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Californian assembly resolution recognises Feb 4 as Saka Nakodar Day

By, Jalandhar
Jun 19, 2024 02:21 PM IST

On February 4, 1986, four youngsters — Ravinder Singh Littran, Harminder Singh, Baldhir Singh and Jhilman Singh — were shot dead reportedly by the police during protests against sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in Nakodar, Jalandhar.

The California state assembly on Thursday passed a resolution unanimously to recognise February 4 as Saka Nakodar Day annually in the state. Jasmeet Kaur Bains, the first and only Sikh assembly member, authored and sponsored the resolution which was co-authored by other members, including members Ash Kalra, Alex Lee and Liz Ortega.

Jasmeet Kaur Bains (centre), member of the California state assembly, presents a copy of the resolution to family members of those killed by police in Nakodar in 1986.
Jasmeet Kaur Bains (centre), member of the California state assembly, presents a copy of the resolution to family members of those killed by police in Nakodar in 1986.

On February 4, 1986, four youngsters — Ravinder Singh Littran, Harminder Singh, Baldhir Singh and Jhilman Singh — were shot dead reportedly by the police during protests against sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in Nakodar, Jalandhar. Baldev Singh, father of Ravinder, had reportedly identified the bodies in the civil hospital of Nakodar. There were allegations that the bodies were cremated by security forces before the families could collect them, and that justice eludes the families even after 38 years.

Baldev Singh was also present in the California assembly session when the resolution was passed. Bains said the resolution serves as a wake-up call for the successive Punjab governments, highlighting their failure to adhere to the rule of law. “The mandate requires Punjab assembly to present the judicial inquiry report during assembly sessions, discuss its findings and issue an action taken report within six months. The Justice Gurnam Singh commission was set up that submitted its inquiry report to the Punjab government on October 31, 1986 but no action was taken,” the resolution stated.

She added that the California assembly condemned hate crimes and human rights violations against Sikhs.

“The state obscured the relevant parts of the judicial commission inquiry report and took no action. Not a single perpetrator has been brought to justice to date,” Bains stated in her resolution.

Case status

In 2019, Baldev Singh filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court as key points of the judicial inquiry report had “mysteriously disappeared” from the state records. The HC had issued a notice to the Punjab Government on July 22, 2019, seeking formation of a special investigation team (SIT).

Another petition was filed in 2021, leading to another HC notice to the state on September 22, 2022. On May 31, 2023, the Jalandhar (rural) SSP formed a special investigation team (SIT) team and instructed inclusion of the petitioner in the investigation to gather facts and prepare a detailed report within one month.

On October 7, 2023, the attorney general’s office of Punjab submitted an affidavit from the Nakodar DSP, confirming formation of the SIT and the registration of four FIRs related to the incidents. Based on this statement, the HC disposed of both petitions.

This year, the aggrieved family members filed an RTI seeking copies of the fresh FIRs, but received copies of the cases registered in 1986.

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