On Wednesday, April 23rd, Jakara Misl Phoenix held a movie screening for Ensaaf’s The Last Killing. This screening followed various cases of fake police-encounters that were witnessed by Satwant Singh, a former Punjab Police officer. Satwant Singh depicted these encounters and murders by the police as well as his own torture. We were also able to see how Satwant Singh was fighting the cases for many of these victims but was ultimately denied by India’s judicial system.
Many emotions arose from the viewers during this documentary. Many of us felt sadness and anger. How could these crimes have gone on in “the world’s largest democracy” without any justice prevailing? None of us had an explanation to how crimes like these could be justified by the government they were committed under. However, we were actually glad that we were able to view a documentary like. Sadly, many people, including Sikhs, do not know of these crimes that took place following 1984. Screenings like these are able to spread awareness of an issue that has yet to even be addressed.
Nevertheless, spreading awareness is only the first step to addressing an issue such as this one. We all agreed that solely awareness would not get us anywhere in attaining justice for the Sikhs who were murdered during this time period. We believe that both monetary, political, and legal assistance is needed. As shown in the screening, Satwant Singh barely had enough capital to provide transportation to his family to the courthouse. How can he be expected to fight a case against the government of India? By raising awareness, whether it is at our Gurudwaras or to our local politicians, we hope that we can actually initiate action to help give justice to the victims of these occurrences. Whether it is a member of the sangat donating to Satwant Singh’s cause or a politician speaking out against these unethical practices of the Indian government, we believe that action needs to be taken.