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Sikh Genocide 1984: Amnesty Intl. India petition demands Justice for victims BUT terms it as ‘riots’

October 22, 2014 | By

New Delhi, India: Amnesty International India has launched a petition demanding the Government of India to reopen each of the November 1984 Sikh massacre related cases that were closed by the Delhi police. The human rights body has further demanded that an independent team should be formed to reinvestigate the cases, and all those responsible for the massacre– whether they are political leaders, police or government officials, should be brought to justice.

[File Photo]

[File Photo]

It is notable that the Amnesty International India has used the term “RIOTS” to refer to the brutal massacres of the Sikhs that were carried throughout India in first week of November 1984. The term ‘riot’ tends to veil the true nature of the massacres in which at least ten thousand Sikhs were massacred throughout India. Various witness testimonies and reports have established that November 1984 pogroms were widespread, organized and systematic massacres of Sikhs. The term riot is inappropriate to refer to November 1984 Sikh Genocide as it tends to absolve the culpability of Indian state as accused of “crimes against humanity” and “genocide”.

The text of petition by Amnesty International India reads as follows:

Chaurasi Ki Na Insaafi: Demand justice for 1984

They say it has been more than 30 years so forget the 1984 riots, but how can I? Not one day goes by without me thinking about it. — Bhaggi Kaur, survivor of 1984 massacres.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of one of independent India’s most shameful episodes.

In December 1984, at least 3000 Sikh men, women and children were killed, mainly in Delhi, over the course of four days of “rioting” and looting that followed the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Sikh men were dragged out of their homes by mobs and shot dead. Others were hacked to death, or doused with petrol and burned alive. Many Sikh women were raped. Commissions of inquiry reported that political leaders were involved in instigating rioters, and the police simply turned a blind eye to the carnage.

The riots of 1984 were a national disgrace. And they were followed by another: 30 years of impunity.

Three decades after the riots, only a tiny fraction of those responsible have been brought to justice. In many cases, investigations have not been completed even after 30 years. Thousands of victims and survivors continue to wait for justice and closure.

The Delhi Police closed investigations into hundreds of cases after the massacre, citing lack of evidence. Only a handful of police personnel charged with neglecting their duty and offering protection to the attackers have been punished.

The victims and survivors of the 1984 massacre have a right to justice and remedy. And it is time this right was respected.

* Demand that the Government of India reopens every one of the cases closed by the Delhi police.

* Demand that an independent team reinvestigates the cases, and authorities bring to justice all those responsible for the massacre– whether they are political leaders, police or government officials.


Link to Sign the petition:


Also Read:Open Letter to Amnesty International India – On using term “riots” for the Sikh Genocide 1984


Update: The Amnesty International India has updated the petition to replace the term “riots” with “massacres”.

(Note added on: Oct. 23, 2014 | 12:54 IST)

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