Pleads for German aid in stopping imminent Davinderpal Singh Bhullar hanging
(SAN FRANCISCO, April 17, 2013) In a last ditch effort to rescue the Indian death row convict Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar, his family in California will meet with the German Embassy to request Germany immediately recall its Indian ambassador to protest violations of due process of justice resulting in Bhullar’s imminent hanging.
Bhullar is accused of the 1993 bombing of All-India Youth Congress offices. He insists he’s innocent, pointing to the total lack of evidence and the 1991 killing of his relatives by Indian Police. Fearing a similar fate in police custody, he sought political asylum in Germany in 1995. He was deported to India in 1996. A Frankfurt court later ruled this illegal since German law forbids extradition of persons facing torture or death.
Because the extradition was illegal, Bhullar’s mother and brother will ask Germany to take action in a meeting at the San Francisco German Consulate (1960 Jackson Street) at 10:30 AM (PST) on Thursday. US citizens living in California, they insist Bhullar is only the family’s latest victim of state terrorism. They plan to ask Germany to sever diplomatic relations with India unless Bhullar is freed.
A rally demanding India free Bhullar is scheduled to take place outside India’s San Francisco Consulate on Thursday at high noon. Similar rallies are scheduled around the world, including outside New York City’s Indian Consulate. A Sikh delegation is also scheduled to meet with the New York German Consulate (871 United Nations Plaza) at 2 PM (EST) on Thursday. A rally in London on Tuesday drew thousands to Downing Street, where supporters of Bhullar have been camping since April 11.
Police began targeting the Bhullar family in 1991 to punish their political involvement, said mother Upkar Kaur and brother Tejinderpal Singh in an interview. The father, Balwant Singh, was arbitrarily disappeared by Indian Police, along with an uncle, Manjit and two cousins. The cousins were later released after suffering extreme torture requiring amputation of one’s leg. The father and uncle were never seen again.
After his deportation, Professor Bhullar was imprisoned without trial until 2000. He was denied access to an attorney during his initial imprisonment and trial. Of 133 prosecution witnesses, not one identified him as guilty. He was convicted to death solely on the basis of a confession signed with a thumbprint. Bhullar disowns the confession, saying he was tortured and ordered to thumbprint a blank page.
Tejinderpal is glad at the chance to meet with the German Embassy. He says, “My brother is an innocent man who was framed in criminal cases for organizing rallies against extrajudicial killing of Sikhs in Punjab.” He shakes his head, expressing frustration mixed with hope. His family has suffered since 1991, he notes, when his father and uncle were disappeared by Indian police. He has strong words, saying:
“First the Indian State killed my father extrajudicially. Now my brother is being murdered through judicial process. Both are innocent victims of a vampire government. Our family has been devastated. But we still stand strong with the Sikh nation.”
Upkar is more downcast. As she speaks, she weeps at the though of losing her oldest son, saying: “Davinderpal has suffered on death row for 18 years for speaking against the Indian State’s destruction of our family and our Sikh community. He saw police murder his father and my sister’s husband for nothing. While the sons of Punjab are bled by Delhi’s tyranny, we pray for justice, peace, and liberty like we find in USA.”