B-Coalition & The WSO are proud to feature the Defender T-shirt which pays tribute to the late Jaswant Singh Khalra, a man who fought for TRUTH JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS. Proceeds from each T-shirt sold will go to the World Sikh Organization of Canada C/O Khalra Centre for Human Rights Defenders initiative.
ABOUT THE MAN: Jaswant Singh Khalra, a lawyer by education, was a bank employee in the city of Amritsar in Punjab. During the early 1990s, while searching for a colleague who went missing, Jaswant Singh Khalra discovered files from the municipal corporation of the city of Amritsar which contained the names, age and address of thousands of Sikhs who had been killed and later illegally cremated by the Indian security forces as unclaimed bodies. Further research revealed thousands of cases in three other districts in Punjab. In total, Mr. Khalra discovered approximately 25 000 cases of extra-judicial killings.
To raise awareness of the human rights abuses in Punjab, at the invitation of the World Sikh Organization of Canada, Mr. Khalra travelled to Canada in April 1995.
In Canada, Mr. Khalra met with Canadian Parliamentarians in Ottawa and also spoke at Sikh gatherings about his findings. Upon his return to India, on September 6, 1995, Mr. Khalra was abducted by the Punjab Police and after 48 days in illegal custody, was extra-judicially murdered. His only fault was that he had worked to expose the human rights abuses in Punjab and had raised the issue on the international stage.
To honour the memory of Jaswant Singh Khalra and to carry forward his legacy, the WSO and the Human Rights Law Network in India established the Khalra Centre for Human Rights Defenders in New Delhi, India in November 2011. The Khalra Centre is a resource for human rights defenders across India and offers legal and medical support to those defending human rights and also works on the documentation of human rights abuses across India. The Khalra Centre holds regular seminars on human rights issues and also publishes reports and alerts.
For more info visit www.worldsikh.org and get involved!