A local court in Jalandhar on Saturday directed to constitute a medical board to examine Kulbir Singh Barapaind,president of Akali Dal Pancha Pardhani (ADPP),after he claimed that he was being tortured by the Punjab Police.
While directing the senior medical officer of Jalandhar Civil Hospital to constitute the medical Board,Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Jatinder Pal Singh also directed Kapurthala Jail Superintendent to ensure the compliance of the order.
The directive came after Barapind alleged in the court that the police officials gave him electric shocks during interrogation.
Meanwhile,Human Rights Watch (HRW),an international body,also demanded a probe into the allegations and urged the Indian government to enact the Prevention of Torture Bill,which is currently awaiting cabinet approval.
International law prevents governments from extraditing any person,including criminal suspects,to a country where torture is used during interrogation,a HRW statement said.
It may be noted that the United States had extradited Barapind on June 17,2006,to face trial in three cases in Punjab,after obtaining assurance from India that he will not be tortured. A court subsequently acquitted Barapind of all charges in April 2008.
Citing custodial torture of Barapind,the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ),an NGO,has approached US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,urging the country to terminate the extradition treaty between US and India. It reminded Clinton that the US is bound by the Article 3 of the UN Convention to not extradite any person to a country where torture is practised.
Meanwhile,the US Embassys Human Rights and Political Affairs desk in New Delhi has also taken up the matter of custodial torture of Barapind,ADPPs lawyer Harpal Singh Cheema,said.
Barapind had first complained of custodial torture in the court verbally on September 25. Hios counsel,Kashmir Singh Mallhi,moved a formal application a day later alleging the police of usinf third degree tortureand implicating Barapind in a false criminal case.
Meanwhile,there are reports that Canadian Sikh Coalition and Sikh Youth of America have prepared a petition that will be sent various gurdwaras across US and Canada as a part of a signature campaign. Later,the petition will be submitted with the government officers to seek diplomatic intervention in the undemocratic arrest,detention and custodial torture of ADPP leaders in Punjab.