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Campaign on to declare ’84 Sikh killings as genocide

Efforts are being made to get the United Nations involved.

JATINDER PREET  LUDHIANA | 23rd Mar 2013

ikh organisations have launched an international campaign to have the United Nations investigate the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 in which 3,000 Sikhs were killed and declare it as genocide. Alleging that India is unable to conduct the investigations objectively, the "1984: Yes It's Genocide" campaign aims to obtain more than 1,000,000 signatures.

The Akal Takht had in July 2010 declared the November 1984 killing of Sikhs after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, as "genocide". An edict was issued from the Sikhs' highest temporal seat, Akal Takht Sahib in June last year to file the petition before the United Nations. Following this, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), a US based advocacy group and All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) launched the campaign. A website (www.1984YesitsGenocide.org) has also been launched to connect the Sikh community worldwide to collect online signatures.

A float carrying widows and victims of November 1984 was launched last week in Amritsar. It will visit all the states where Sikhs were subject to attacks during November 1984 and will collect signatures in support of the Genocide Petition. The AISSF is also organising genocide petition camps in different cities including New Delhi to collect signatures. A three-day camp will be held at Sri Anandpur Sahib on the occasion of Hola Mohalla for the same purpose, said AISSF president Karnail Singh Peermohammad.

Peermohammed said that the victims are pursuing a "Genocide Petition" before the UN because successive governments have failed to investigate and prosecute the leaders who organised the killing of thousands of Sikhs in 1984. The gravity, scale and especially the organised nature of these attacks was concealed by the Indian government portraying them as "November 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots of Delhi". These attacks were neither "riots" nor were they confined to Delhi alone. Sikhs were attacked in 18 states and in more than 100 cities throughout India with the specific intent to destroy the Sikh community, added Peermohammad.

The Sikh "Genocide Petition" will be filed pursuant to the "1503 Petition" procedure asking the United Nations to investigate what it calls "the systematic, intentional and deliberate killing of Sikhs carried out throughout India during the first week of November 1984" and to recognise the same as "Genocide".

Under the "1503 Petition" the Commission on Human Rights examines complaints that show consistent patterns of gross human rights violations as the Sikh organisations believe was the case with Sikhs during November 1984. The petition will be presented to the UN at Geneva in Switzerland in November by Karnail Singh Peermohammad along with Bibi Jagdish Kaur, a prime witness in the case against Congress leader Sajjan Kumar.

 
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