Punjab Disappeared: Claiming the Unclaimed is a 70-minute documentary about enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings in Punjab that took place during more than a decade of conflict in the north Indian state. Thousands of people, mainly young Sikh men, disappeared after being picked up and detained by Punjab police.
The film traces the work of the Punjab Documentation and Advocacy Project (PDAP) and the pioneering work of Punjab human rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra in uncovering the identities of thousands of previously unidentified bodies cremated from early 1980 to the mid 1990s.
The film also sensitively narrates the plight of thousands of victim families across India’s troubled and conflict-ridden states.. Those whose kin have been disappeared or killed, without redress, converged in a unique and touching display of collective grief, resilience and solidarity.
The right to life is the most sacred and fundamental human right. The documentary explores the complex and multi layered protection, immunity and impunity provided by the State to law enforcers themselves accused of mass killings.
It narrates the struggles of its survivors: Fathers, husbands, brothers, sons and sometimes, mothers, wives, daughters and sisters, were abducted by police or security forces, tortured and ultimately killed. The stories of these victims and their families’ subsequent struggle to find answers to their question – ‘what happened to our loved ones?’ unfold through the vehicle of an Independent Peoples’ Tribunal (IPT), a two-day public event that took place in Amritsar.