November 2, 2014 | By Parmjeet Singh
LAMBASTS DELHI AND PUNJAB GOVTS FOR SUPPRESSION OF PEACEFUL PROTEST
UK: 1 November 2014: The Council of Khalistan, together with other Sikh organisations across the Sikh diaspora responded uniformly today in robustly condemning this morning’s Indian police action in which hundreds of peaceful Sikh protestors were arrested in Punjab in order to prevent them taking part in a state-wide shutdown called to mark the 30th anniversary of the genocide of Sikhs in November 1984. Victims and survivors of the 1984 massacre, political leaders, children and the elderly were rounded up by the Punjab police in order to supress the Sikh masses expressing their disgust at the three decades of impunity given by the Indian state to the perpetrators of the killings which Human Rights Watch this week called “organised carnage”.
Amrik Singh Sahota, OBE, President of the Council of Khalistan said the police action, which represented a disgraceful attempt to appease the Hindutva forces which now control both central and Punjab state governments, failed to dent the success of the Bandh which was called by an array of Sikh organisations, spearheaded by Karnail Singh Peermohammad, President of the All India Sikh Students Federation. Bhai Peermohammad, who was himself among those arrested, said the response of the people of Punjab had clearly shown that they will not rest until the killers were brought to justice. In addition he pointed to the police action as yet further evidence, if more were needed, that the Indian state will not permit the guilty to be punished. The case for international action was now irresistible – Sikhs demand the establishment of international criminal tribunals to punish the killers as the Indian political and judicial system has ridiculed the rule of law.
India is a signatory to the Genocide Convention 1948 which requires parties to take effective action against genocide. The 30 year failure to punish those who directed, carried out and subsequently covered up the mass killings in November 1984, in which thousands of Sikhs were brutally butchered in Delhi and elsewhere in India, has become a scandal in modern history. Amnesty International yesterday characterised the situation as a national disgrace and stated “the sheer scale of the impunity for the 1984 massacre is staggering, and has also been used to downplay other incidents of mass violence. As long as the perpetrators of the carnage go unpunished, the rule of law in India remains weakened.“
The Council of Khalistan called on the people of Punjab to reject the corrupt political class that has allowed such blatant injustice to fester for decades. He said the so-called Akali Dal, which promised to bring the killers to account, had now joined hands with the Hindutva forces and would face the wrath of the Sikhs.
Lord Ahmed, Chair of the cross party group ‘Parliamentarians for National Self-determination’ said the international community must act to deliver justice to the Sikhs. The examples of former Yugoslavia and Ruanda showed how the UN can and should act to bring genocide perpetrators to justice where it was clear that domestic courts will not act.
Graham Williamson, Chairman of ‘Nations without States’, said genocide was a tool used by regimes to crush legitimate self-determination movements. India’s refusal to acknowledge the Sikh nation’s right under international law, to determine its own destiny in its homeland, must now be reversed. As a first step it should honour its international obligations under the Genocide Convention and agree to an international tribunal to administer justice so that the parties could move forward to resolve the underlying conflict.
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