December 22, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New Delhi: The state assembly of Delhi yesterday passed a resolution condemning the 1984 Sikh Genocide. The Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) was not able to secure a copy of the resolution till the time of writing this news but it is confirmed that the state assembly recognised the 1984 Sikh Genocide as ‘genocide’.
The resolution moved by AAP MLA Jarnail Singh was passed by a voice vote in the House.
The Delhi government should strongly convey in writing to the Union Home Ministry (MHA) that justice continues to elude the families and near-dear ones of the victims of the worst genocide in the history of India’s national capital, the resolution reportedly said.
A report in Financial Express (FE) notes that ‘the House directed the government to impress upon the MHA that it should take all important and necessary steps to specifically include crimes against humanity and genocide in India’s domestic criminal laws, as recommended by the Delhi High Court in its recent landmark judgment sentencing Sajjan Kumar and other convicts to life imprisonment’.
Media reports note that the resolution also demanded that Bharat Ratna awarded to former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi be withdrawn as he had justified the 1984 Sikh genocide. After the resolution was passed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) tried to distance itself from the reference to Rajiv Gandhi. AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj claimed the lines about the former prime minister were not part of the original text placed before the house and it was a handwritten amendment proposed by a member that cannot be passed in such a manner.
But after Bhardwaj’s remarks, AAP MLA Jarnail Singh, who had read out the resolution, said it was only a technical shortcoming. He said though the reference to Gandhi in the resolution was not there in the written copies, it was made orally and passed by the House by voice vote.
“At the last moment Somnath Bharti (MLA) gave me the third point about Rajiv Gandhi. The technical issue is that the third point was not there in the copies distributed to the members of the House. But everything happened on record despite the technical shortcoming”, he said
Later, AAP MLA Somnath Bharti said: “In connection with a dispute about a line on Sri Rajiv Gandhi in the resolution passed in assembly today, I confirm that the line was not part of original resolution distributed to MLAs n it was me who suggested the line as an amendment n passed on to Sri Jarnail Singh Ji. Jarnail ji didn’t propose that amendment n never put that 4 vote. Amendments r always put to vote separately n unless passed, that can’t form part of passed resolution.1st I talked of this in my speech n then suggested this amendment n party had no opportunity to see same. I further clarify that amendment I proposed was not put to vote as an amendment n hence there is no question of passing the same. Hope this answers the dispute conclusively” (sic).
The official record of the Delhi State Assembly could clear the situation regarding resolution demanding withdrawn of Bharat Rattan award from Rajiv Gandhi but it must be noted here that is confusion over rest of the parts of yesterday’s resolution.
Update ~ The Delhi State Assembly speaker had removed the lines related to the aforesaid demand from the final text of the resolution that was recorded in the state assembly records. (Updated on 3 January, 2019 at 18:49:01 as per Amritsar Standard Time)
Earlier in 2015 the Delhi State Assembly had passed a motion recognising the 1984 Sikh Genocide as “genocide”.