Gurmukh Singh: Beaten but not broken

Veteran soldier says he will never forget being called a “terrorist” after fighting three wars for India. He promises to return to Delhi borders once his health improves.


Over a week after his release, ex-army man Gurmukh Singh still awaits for Tihar jail officials to return his mobile phone, the legal team of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) told SabrangIndia on February 23, 2021.

Farmers and their families are still reeling from the events that unfolded during and after the Kisan Ganatantra Parade on January 26. According to Raminder Singh, 12 people who participated in the event remain untraceable as of Tuesday morning.

As for arrested people, as many as 48 people have received bail out of which 35 people have been released, said Singh. Among them was the 80-year-old veteran Gurmukh who received bail on February 12 and left for his village the next day.

According to the Newslaundry, Gurmukh set out for Delhi on January 25 from Shamaspur village in Fatehgarh Sahib to join protesting farmers in the Kisan Ganatantra Parade. However, he was arrested by Delhi Police on January 29 from the Burari ground for allegedly assaulting a public official and violating the Covid-19 protocol. The FIR claimed that nine accused attacked a police officer and tore his uniform.

However, Gurmukh claimed that he was attacked and beaten by police and dragged away from the ground. Gurmukh previously visited the Burari ground in December 2020 and was resting in one of tents on the day of the parade due to exhaustion. Yet, days later, cops visited the area while people were having langar and dragged the soldier away from his tent that had all his belongings.

Gurmukh resisted and even managed to escape from the police bus they had brought a few times. However, the police beat him and pushed him to the ground until they could eventually take him to Tihar jail and keep him there for the next two weeks or so.

He told media persons that he could never forget the humiliation he faced during the time, tolerating names such as “terrorists” despite serving in the army for 22 years. Gurmukh was recruited into the army during the 1962 Indo-China War and was stationed at the Nathu La Pass in Sikkim until the two countries announced a ceasefire in November 1962. He fought two more wars such as the India-Pakistan war in 1965 and the Bangladesh Liberation War six years later.

Yet nowadays, his sleep is interrupted by the memories of his recent imprisonment where toilets were “overflowing with feces” and his complaints went unanswered. According to the Indian Express, he allegedly sustained internal injuries during a police altercation.

Nonetheless, he resolved to return to the protest site in a few days assuring people of his strength thanks to his days as a wrestler, boxer, kabaddi player and recipient of 10 army medals.

In the meanwhile, Gurmukh’s village sarpanch Harpinder Singh announced that the village passed a memorandum to send people to city borders in rotation until the three farm laws were repealed. Villagers also took out a road show from Khamano till his village to welcome Gurmukh.

Along with Gurmukh, 70-year-old veteran Ajit Singh was also arrested at the Burari ground. Like Shamaspur, Ajit’s village also celebrated his return to Khanauri Kalan. The SKM’s legal team said that so far, the two ex-armymen and 63-year-old Joginder Singh are the only elderly arrested by the police.

However, the team will work to help other detainees who are between the ages of 20 to 40 years. To account for all unknown persons who are still missing, the committee announced the following helplines, using which people can inform the organisation about all missing people: 9814004729, 9914231100 , 9813364100 , 9416495827 , 9315848586.


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