December 6, 2014 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Jalandhar/ London: A powerful statement from a leading UK parliamentarian has given a major boost to efforts aimed at securing an international tribunal to punish those guilty of the genocide of Sikhs in India in November 1984. Fabian Hamilton MP is a highly respected figure at Westminster and is seen as an expert on foreign affairs. His comments recall how the Sikhs, during the Second World War helped to liberate the Jews from their Holocaust, saying it is now right that the world “put an end to genocide denial in the context of what happened to the Sikhs in India in November 1984”.
Releasing the statement of Mr. Fabian Hamilton MP UK Parliament in the press conference, S. Karnail Singh Peermohammad President of All India Sikh Students Federation welcomed the statement from Mr. Hamilton by saying this will give real impetus to efforts to bring the killers to justice. AISSF President also appreciated the work done by U.K Based Sikh campaigner S. Ranjit Singh Srai and S. Amrik Singh Sahota in bringing the Sikh Genocide injustice on International level. He said the victims’ families would see this intervention as a significant contribution to their struggle and that the entire Sikh nation would deeply appreciate Fabian Hamilton’s principled comments.
Recent weeks have seen Sikhs across the world, on the 30th anniversary of the bloodshed, demand international action to punish the guilty following three shameful decades of refusal by Indian authorities to take any meaningful steps. Citing the ‘Punjab Bandh’ of 1st November 2014, led by the All India Sikh Students Federation and victim’s families, the statement reflects disappointment that the new Indian Government has failed to distance itself from the failures of the past by coming forward with proposals to address the “grotesque injustice”.
Mr. Hamilton, who serves as chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs, has expressed horror at the impunity given to the perpetrators of the “abominable crimes” which led to the deaths of thousands of Sikhs whilst “the security forces, government and judiciary watched as mute spectators”.
The statement castigates those that still refer to the pogroms as “riots” and concludes that the motivation behind that may well be that Indian politicians fear the implications of India being found in breach of their obligations under the Genocide Convention 1948.
India is a signatory to that key international treaty and, under its terms, has undertaken to take effective action to both prevent genocide and to punish those responsible for it. Indian has “clearly breached” those legal obligations and instead shielded the perpetrators, “many of whom have since enjoyed high office”.
The senior MP calls on the UK Government, as a member of the UN Security Council, to initiate steps at the UN in order to deliver an impartial judicial investigation which “is now perhaps the only realistic hope that justice can be achieved”. He notes the recent condemnation by both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch of the impunity which has cast “a dark shadow of shame over India’s standing in the international community”.
Interestingly he invites the new Indian Prime Minister to agree to an international judicial probe. This follows a recent ‘open letter’ to Narendra Modi from Karnail Singh Peermohammad, President of the All India Sikh Student Federation, which also called for the BJP leader to substantiate his claim of bringing “ache din” with his premiership by accepting Sikh demands for a UN criminal tribunal.
AISSF’s President said that the Sikh nation is determined to ensure the guilty are held accountable for the heinous crimes of November 1984 and that he sincerely hopes that other world leaders would now step forward to back international action. Peer Mohammad announced that this campaign will be taken forward in Jalandhur in Punjab on 10 December when an event, marking World Human Rights Day, will once again call for the genocide perpetrators to face an international criminal tribunal. The candle light march will commence at Gurdwara Nanak Mission Chowk at 5pm and finish at Gurdwara Model Town at 6pm. He called on those who believe in justice and the rule of law to participate in the event and, once again, remind the villains that they will be pursued until justice is served.
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