Branded on my back as ‘terrorist’, alleges Punjab prisoner

State deputy chief minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has ordered a probe into the accusations.

A medical examination of the prisoner is set to be conducted. (Photo: Twitter)

An undertrial prisoner in Punjab’s Barnala district has alleged that the jail superintendent tortured him and branded him on the back with the word “aatankwadi” (terrorist).

“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,” prisoner Karamjit Singh, 28, told a court in Mansa district where a case filed under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) was being heard, according to NDTV.

Jail superintendent Balbir Singh has denied the accusations, into which Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has ordered a probe. A medical examination of the prisoner is also set to be conducted.

The superintendent called the undertrial a “repeat offender” used to “sharing concocted stories”.


“He faces trial in 11 cases, ranging from NDPS Act to murder, and now he is making these allegations because he is upset with us… we keep searching the barracks and last time we found a cell phone in his barrack…. even when he was lodged in Sangrur district,” Balbir Singh was quoted as saying. He also claimed that Karamjit Singh had escaped from police custody once.

Manjinder Singh Sirsa, Akali Dal spokesperson, hauled up the Congress government in Punjab over “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,” he tweeted.

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