November 19, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: A Connecticut-based Sikh activist has sued Consul General of India (CGI) in New York Sandeep Chakravorty for defamation. The lawsuit titled “Swaranjit Singh Khalsa vs. Sandeep Chakravorty” (Civil Action No. 18-cv-10543) is filed at United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The court has issued summons to Sandeep Chakravorty (copy below) asking him to respond within 21 days of receipt of summons or with in 60 days if he was outside United States.
Copy of Summons Issued to Sandeep Chakravorty, CGI
In his letter to Connecticut senator Cathy Osten on November 5, Consul General of India Sandeep Chakravorty had alleged that ‘fringe/radical elements of Sikh community in Connecticut’ were carrying on ‘pernicious and divisive campaign as they see money and power for themselves’.
He had written to the senator over the issue of her letter of March 19 (copy follows) with respect to the Connecticut senate bill for designating November as ‘Sikh Genocide Remembrance Month’.
Copy of Senator Cathy Osten’s Letter in Support of Bill Seeking Recognition of 1984 Sikh Genocide
In his letter (copy reproduced below) the CGI had written, “The fringe/radical and terrorist elements of the Sikh community in Connecticut appear to be oblivious of what has happened in the past and are carrying on their vociferous, pernicious and divisive campaign as they see money and power for themselves in this. We somehow feel that these fringe elements have taken benefit of your trust and made you support this bill.”
Copy of CGI Sandeep Chakravorty’s Letter
In his letter Sandeep Chakravorty further said: “And as I have explained before, the anti-Sikh violence had its roots in years of terrorism perpetrated by Sikh terrorists and cannot be subject to selective analysis. The purpose of the people who persuaded you to support the state resolution is to weaken India through divisive policies and this you will agree that we cannot allow to succeed. I am confident that you will view this as not just the declaration of reprehensible events of 1984 as genocide but also the ulterior motives of those who have persuaded you on this course of action”.
Speaking on the 1984 Sikh Genocide Remembrance Day senator Cathy Osten said read out a part of Sandeep Chakravorty’s letter and said that she saws (genocide) denial in it. He said that India should accept the responsibility of the genocide that took place in 1984.
In the November 13 lawsuit, Swaranjit Singh Khalsa has alleged, “The plaintiff claims to have sustained injury to his reputation and emotional distress due to the immensely damaging and defamatory statements made by the CGI-NY in a letter to Catherine Osten, state senator of Connecticut.”
Speaking to Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) Swaranjit Singh Khalsa said that the Indian Consul General was unduly interfering in the Sikh matters besides levelling baseless allegations against campaigners who are working to get the fact of 1984 Sikh genocide recognised.
“I know the Indian diplomat may invoke diplomatic immunity against my lawsuit but it was necessary to take this action to tell them that they could be questioned for their words and deeds” he added.