“Terrorist” branded on back by cop, Punjab undertrial prisoner faces horrific torture

Karamjit Singh, a 28-year-old undertrial prisoner in Punjab’s Barnala district has accused the jail superintendent Balbir Singh of horrific custodial torture and branding the word ‘aatankwadi’, or terrorist, on his back. Photo: Special Arrangement

Karamjit Singh, a 28-year-old undertrial prisoner in Punjab’s Barnala district has accused the jail superintendent Balbir Singh of horrific custodial torture and branding the word ‘aatankwadi‘, or terrorist, on his back.

Following the incident, Deputy Chief Minister Randhawa has ordered ADGP (Jails) PK Sinha to conduct a thorough inquiry and carry out a medical examination of the prisoner.

A senior officer – Tajinder Singh Maur, the DIG (Ferozepur) – has been appointed as the investigating officer, and will begin inquiries Thursday, NDTV reported.

“Karamjit Singh, a prisoner of Barnala Jail, has accused staff of writing objectionable words on his body. In view of this orders have been issued to conduct an in-depth probe,” a rough translation of his tweet, Deputy CM said.

“The condition of inmates is deplorable. People diagnosed with AIDS and hepatitis are not kept in separate wards, and whenever I tried raising the issue of ill-treatment, the jail superintendent would beat me,” Karamjit made the allegation at a court in Mansa district.

The charges against Karamjit are under the NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act) in the drug and murder cases.

Jail superintendent, Balbir Singh, has denied all charges, and dismissed Karamjit as a “repeat offender who has a habit of sharing concocted stories, NDTV reports.

Akali Dal spokesperson Manjinder Sirsa has slammed the ruling Congress government over the “serious violation of human rights.”

“Malicious intent of Congress government to paint Sikhs as terrorists! Punjab Police beats undertrial Sikh prisoner and engraves word ‘atwadi‘ on his back. We demand immediate suspension of jail superintendent and strict action for human rights violation,” tweeted Sirsa.