Aug 31, 1956- June 28, 2009

Ram Narayan Kumar, former director of SAFHR’s South Asian Orientation Course in Human Rights and Peace Studies, was the full time Director of the Understanding Impunity project.Kumar had been involved with human rights and democracy issues in the region since 1975 when he was imprisoned for 19 months for his vocal opposition to Indira Gandhi‘s Emergency regime that lasted till March 1977. Kumar’s work for justice and accountability in Punjab is widely recognized. A founder member of the Committee for Information and Initiative on Punjab, which petitioned the Supreme Court in April 1995 for a comprehensive investigation on the matter of police abductions resulting in the secret cremations in Punjab, Kumar is the lead author of Reduced to Ashes

For almost a quarter of a century, he championed Sikh rights in Punjab through investigative journalism, historical research and uncompromising fight for State accountability. His landmark publication, Reduced to Ashes : TheInsurgency and Human Rights in Punjab, (SAFHR, 2003), which he co-author  dwith colleagues on the Coordination Committee for Disappearances in Punjab (CCDP), of whihc I was a part as well for a year, is a meticulous documentation of over 600 cases of human rights abuse in Punjab. It led to charges being filed against police officials, but more importantly, it raised awareness of abuses in Punjab across the world. He is also the author of Sikh Unrest and the Indian State: Politics, personalities and historical retrospective (Ajanta Publications, New Delhi, 1997); The Sikh Struggle: Origin, Evolution and Present Phase (Chanakya Publications, Delhi, 1991) and [Terror in Punjab] Terror in Punjab : Narratives, Knowledge and Truth (Shipra Publications, Delhi, 2008).

Ram played a major role in all aspects of the movement for accountability in Punjab. For example, he worked with Jaswant Singh Khalra in exposing mass cremations of victims of disappearances and killings, he spearheaded the People’s Commission on Human Rights Violations as well as the Committee for Coordination on Disappearances in Punjab, and he contributed to all major litigation such as the petition to bring charges against KPS Gill for his role in Khalra’s murder and the Punjab mass cremations case.

“A forthright critic of state repression in Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Northeast India, Nepal and other parts of the subcontinent, Kumar was a deeply committed fighter for human rights and accountability. Kumar’s work through SAFHR on impunity in the region was based not only on meticulous research and sharp insights, but also on profound empathy, compassion and an unwavering passion for social justice.“—Tapan Kumar Bose, South Asia Forum for Human Rights & Sushil Pyakurel, Accountability Watch Committee, Nepal.


Join his facebook page here-

Documentary by  RamNnarayan Kumar, investigating the 50000 plus sikh members who have been mudered by the indian government in the genocide killing fields of punjab. note recently indian government have offered minimal compensation to some of the victims as an admission of guilt by no justice


A short clip of Interveiw with Ram Narayn Kumar on illegal cremations and Jaswant Singh Khalra