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Jatinder Hayer: Never Forget #SakaNakodar 1986

This is a tale of 35 years. A tale of tears and of injustice.

Feb 4, 2021

Jatinder Hayer
February 4, 2021 | 8 min. read

This is a tale of 35 years. A tale of tears and of injustice. 

Four victims were killed extrajudicially in the Nakodar police shooting incident of February 4, 1986. The agony of family members and loved ones have not ended. The parents of three of the victims have passed away awaiting justice and closure. 

Many of us will remember the more recent Behbal Kalan incident that took place on October 14, 2015, when villagers were participating in a sit-in protest at Behbal Kalan link road in Faridkot’s Kotkapura constituency. The protest was against the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib which had happened in the nearby Bargari village. The incident, subsequent inquiries, and political drama have been in the news recently as former Punjab DGP Sumedh Saini, suspended IG Paramraj Singh Umranangal, former SSP Charanjit Singh Sharma, and serving SP Bikramjit Singh are now among the accused in this high-profile case of police firing in which two Sikh protesters were killed. 

What most of us do not know, and many may not remember, is that an eerily similar incident took place in the town of Nakodar 29 years before Behbal Kalan. 

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Sikh News

Resolution Seeking Recognizing of Saka Nakodar Day Introduced in US Congress

February 9, 2022 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau


WASHINGTON, DC: Recently, U.S. Congresswomen Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) and Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18) introduced legislation to recognize February 4 as Saka Nakodar Day to commemorate the 1986 police killing of four Sikh men participating in peaceful religious protest in Nakodar, India.

“Not a single perpetrator has been brought to justice to date,” notes the Resolution. “The United States is an advocate for the democratic and human rights of all people and stands in solidarity with the families of the victims of the Nakodar incident.”


In addition to failing to hold perpetrators accountable, the Punjab State government has also obscured relevant parts of a judicial commission inquiry report into the incident. As long-time members of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, Reps. Lofgren and Eshoo have been strong advocates for human rights and religious freedom around the world.

The South Bay, which Reps. Lofgren and Eshoo represent, has one of the largest Sikh populations in the country and is home to the largest Sikh Gurdwara in the world outside of India – the Sikh Gurdwara of San Jose


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