November 2, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Geneva, Switzerland (November 02, 2013): On the 29th year of violence against Sikhs, thousands of Sikhs who joined “Justice Rally” against Government of India for gross human rights violations committed during November 1984 and impunity to those who orchestrated genocidal attacks on Sikhs.
After exhausting judicial remedies in India, Sikh NGO’s and the victims of 1984 filed a complaint with Human Rights Council pursuant to resolution 5/1 urging the United Nations to investigate the systematic, intentional and deliberate killing of Sikhs carried out across India during the first week of November 1984 and to recognize these attacks as “Genocide” defined in UN Convention on Genocide.
“Sikhs For Justice” (SFJ) a US based human rights group which is leading the justice campaign invoked the UN 5/1 Complaint Procedure to file complaint with Human Rights Council against the role of Indian Government in genocidal violence against Sikhs in 1984. The complaint procedure of the Human Rights Council addresses consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of all human rights and fundamental freedoms occurring in any part of the world and under any circumstances. It is based on the former Commission of Human Rights’ 1503 procedure, which has been modified to ensure that the procedure is impartial, objective, efficient, victims oriented and conducted in a timely manner.
“The reason we are petitioning the UN to investigate the killing of Sikhs in November 1984 is that we believe the truth has not been told to the world,” stated Jatinder Singh Grewal, policy director at Sikhs For Justice. “What happened in November 1984 was a systematic and deliberate attempt to kill a religious minority. It happened with the complicity of the government and, in many documented cases, with the participation of the government,” Grewal added.
On October 31, 1984, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated leading to systematic and genocidal attacks on Sikhs, a religious minority in India. The death squads led by Congress party leaders and supported by government of machinery killed more than 30,000 Sikhs, raped of Sikh women; burnt hundreds Sikh Temples and displaced more than 300,000 Sikhs. 29 years and 10 inquiry commissions later, Congress party leaders like Kamal Nath, Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar and Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan are free from prosecution.
According to Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a NY based human rights lawyer, the complaints submitted against India and role of Congress (I) in violence against Sikhs and subsequent impunity to political leaders, will be reviewed by the Chairperson of the “Working Group on Communications”, for admissibility and to assesses the merits of the allegations of violations including whether the complaint appears to reveal a consistent pattern of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Indira Prahst, a Canadian sociologist with Sikh and German roots, stated failing to address 1984 emboldened those who killed Indian Muslims in 1992 and 2002, or Christians in 2008. “We remember atrocities so that we do not repeat the past. And the past continues to be repeated in India through violence with impunity,” she said.
“The Sikh Genocide continues to lurk in the minds of Sikhs bringing the past into the present day lived experiences and identity formation of Sikhs. We have a responsibility to illuminate the eclipsed facts that have distorted the history of 1984, to rupture an uncritical acceptance of it as being a “riot” and to create a space for a global recognition of this atrocity which has been long overdue.” Sociologist, Indira Prahst, and Chair, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Canada
The complaint was filed by Sikh NGOs including “Movement Against Atrocities & Repression” (MAR), ‘Sikhs For Justice” (SFJ), All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) and Gurudwara representatives from Europe and North America. In support of complaint, more than million signatures have been collected throughout the world under the campaign “1984 – Yes Its Genocide”.
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