The Punjab Documentation and Advocacy Project (PDAP) started in 2008. What started as a formalised attempt to pool the collective experience, knowledge and data of the Punjab conflict has steadily evolved into a systematic, comprehensive and evaluative system of documentation of the human rights abuses in Punjab in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
The original aims were to document cases of those extra-judicially executed, ‘disappeared’ and arbitrarily detained in Punjab, India between 1978-1996, as comprehensively as possible.
By 1984 the central government imposed President’s rule (direct rule) on Punjab. Punjab was under direct rule from Delhi between 1984 and 1986, and again between 1988 and 1992. The imposition of direct rule brought with it a dramatic increase in human rights abuses, notably enfrced disappearances and executions between 1984 to 1995 during counter insurgency operations.
Police and security forces abducted young Sikh men on suspicion that they were involved in militancy, often in the presence of witnesses, yet later denied having them in custody._ Most of the victims of such enforced disappearances are believed to have been killed.