Wife of late human rights activist a gamechanger

Wife of late human rights activist a gamechanger

Bibi Paramjit Kaur Khalra. Facebook

The election scene in Punjab has turned engrossing with the presence of the wife of a noted human rights activist who was killed in a fake police encounter during militancy days in Punjab and later became the face of ‘uprising’ against human rights violations. 

Bibi Paramjit Kaur Khalra, wife of late activist Jaswant Singh Khalra, sustained a prolonged legal battle for decades to get justice for her husband who was picked up from his house in Amritsar and killed by Punjab police in a fake encounter. The court held the cops guilty of killing Khalra. 

In 2017, Fresno City Council in Central California renamed a park to honour Jaswant Khalra as a human rights icon.   

Bibi is now in the poll fray from the Khadoor Sahib parliamentary constituency as a candidate of Punjabi Ekta Party, part of the Punjab Democratic Alliance.

Militancy may have long ended in this border state, but Bibi Khalra draws inspiration from the life led by her husband who perished taking on the might of an all-powerful gun-toting police force that became infamous for human rights violations during Punjab’s dark era. 

Bibi says the country should know the relevance of people like Khalra in a democracy and the need for human rights to be protected at all costs. 

In an interesting twist, the SAD (Taksali) announced the withdrawal of their candidate from Khadoor Sahib former Army chief General JJ Singh to support of Bibi Khalra. The move was taken to ensure defeat of the Akali Dal and the Congress by ensuring that the votes were not split between Bibi and Singh. 

Khalra, a bank officer, established that the police had cremated over 2,000 missing unidentified bodies in Tarn Taran district of Punjab alone. The activist was vocal against police atrocities which cost him his life. 

Khalra was abducted while washing his car in September 1995 and was killed on October 27. His body was later disposed of. Six cops were convicted of his murder in 2005 and the verdict was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2011. Once long before, Bibi Khalra had unsuccessfully contested the election from Tarn Taran.