Ensaaf (meaning “justice”) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to “end impunity and achieve justice for mass state crimes in India, with a focus on Punjab, by documenting abuses, bringing perpetrators to justice, and organizing survivors.” The organization’s work has been mentioned on this blog several times.
On Saturday, April 6, Ensaaf is holding a fundraising event in Fremont, California, called “Appear for the Disappeared 5K Walk” in memory of the men and women who disappeared in Punjab, India during the 1980s and 1990s. I will be participating in this event, and am walking in memory of Jarnail “Jaila” Singh, who (as reported by Ensaaf) was killed while in custody in Amritsar, Punjab, India in 1990:
In memory of twenty-three-year-old Jarnail Singh alias Jaila who was a truck driver residing in Amitsar district. Police suspected Jarnail Singh of maintaining links with militants and, from mid 1989 onwards, began to raid his house to arrest him. Fearing torture, he went into hiding till his arrest on 23 January 1990. Shortly after arresting Jarnail, the police orchestrated the drama of an “encounter” and declared him killed. (Reduced to Ashes, 235)
I was near Jarnail Singh’s age when he was killed, but I grew up in the west, safe from the tumultuous period in Punjab at that time. Today, we live in the shadow of the violence in Punjab at that time, but the unresolved events that took place are still met with silence. There are thousands of stories like that of Jaila Singh that are unheard, and for which there has been no justice.
In memory of these victims, please consider a donation in support of Ensaaf’s work (Ensaaf is a 501(c)(3) organization and donations are tax-exempt). You can donate via my fundraising page for the Appear for the Disappeared 5K Walk here.