EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: ASA 20/03/94
UA 38/94 Fear of "Disappearance" 4 February 1994
INDIA: Dalbir Singh
Amnesty International fears that Dalbir Singh, an ex-journalist, approximately
70-years-old and reportedly suffering from Parkinson's disease, has been
illegally detained by the police.
He was reportedly taken away by police four or five days ago and has not been
seen since. The police deny he is in their custody.
Amnesty International fears for his safety.
Amnesty International regularly receives reports of allegations that alleged
members or sympathizers of armed opposition groups, or their relatives, in
Punjab have been killed in police custody, often after torture. Their deaths
or "disappearances" are later wrongly attributed by officials to an "encounter"
between militants and the police, to an "escape" during such an "encounter"
or to other improbable causes.
Even though legal safeguards against unacknowledged detention exist in India's
ordinary criminal law and procedural code, they are often simply not adhered
to and prisoners are held in unacknowledged detention for weeks and sometimes
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes and airmail letters
either in English or in your own language:
- expressing concern that Dalbir Singh, a sick and elderly man, has not been
seen since he was taken away by police four or five days ago and the fear that
he may be being held in illegal detention;
- seeking assurances that if he is in police custody he be allowed immediate
access to lawyers and relatives and be brought before a magistrate forthwith;
- seeking assurances that if he is in police custody he is being provided
with adequate medical care and is not being ill-treated;
- urging that if he is in police custody that he be immediately released or
charged with a recognizably criminal offence.
Mr Beant Singh
Chief Minister of Punjab
Office of the Chief Minister
Telegrams: Chief Minister of Punjab, Chandigarh, Punjab, India
Faxes: +91 172 540 647
Salutation: Dear Chief Minister