Bapu Assa Singh being taken to Jail after sentence by TADA COURT.
Via Sikh Siyasat:
Ludhiana, Punjab (November 21, 2012): Dr. Assa Singh, aged 93, could barely walk without support of some other person. He stood on trial of a 1987 bank robbery case for more than 25 years. Police had accused him for handling money allegedly robbed by Sikh militants from a Ludhiana branch of Punjab National Bank on February 12, 1987.
On November 20, 2012 a designated TADA court convicted him under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) for recovery of cash shown against him by the prosecution and sentenced him to undergo 10 years of imprisonment.
It is significant to note that TADA ceased to be operative since May 1995 as the Indian State did not dare to renew it because of massive opposition as this law was being widely misused.
Now even after 17 years after the expiry of TADA, Assa Singh along with 11 others is punished to a sentence that is considered too harsh for most of the convicts.
Assa Singh, owner of 30 acres of fertile land near Sham Chaurasi, District Hoshiarpur took part in numerous political agitations organized by Shiromani Akali Dal, the political party that represented the Sikhs in India after partition of Punjab in 1947. He was arrested more than six times for being a part of, as well as for organizing peaceful demonstrations, protests and agitations against the anti-Sikh policies of the Indian state.
In 1970, one of his sons went to Canada followed by another in 1977. With the income earned from 30 acres of land along with money sent by his sons he purchased 21 acres of land in 1980.
According to defence pleaded by Assa Singh, during the trial, it was the earning of farming as well as money sent by his sons from Canada, amounting to rupees two lacks that was seized by the police from their house in the first week of December 1987 along with Gold jewellery, sale deeds, passbooks and other documents.
Assa Singh was kept in illegal custody and was falsely implicated in Ludhiana Bank robbery case. He was charged with TADA for the alleged recovery of currency notes amounting to rupee one lakh fifty thousands. The prosecution case alleged that he was a part of conspiracy to rob the bank though there was nothing to prove the conspiracy.
Assa Singh was bailed out after — months of custody in this case. Thereafter he stood on trial for consecutive 25 years.
Few years back he was exempted from personal appearance in the court due to the fact that he was aged above 90 years and was suffering from old age health problems.
On November 17, 19, 20 in 2012 he was brought to Ludhiana for hearing the final order in this case by his family members.
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