September 27, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Washington DC (September 26, 2013): Ahead of Obama-Singh summit in White House, a Federal Court in Washington DC has issued summons against PM Manmohan Singh for his role in crimes against humanity perpetrated upon the Sikh community in India.
The rights violation case “SFJ v. Manmohan Singh”, has been docketed under 13-cv-01460 and assigned to US District Judge, James E. Boasberg. The Plaintiffs have 120 days to serve the summons and complaint on PM who will be in Washington this week to meet US President Obama.
The human rights violation law suit against PM Manmohan Singh has been filed by “Sikhs For Justice” (SFJ) under Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) for funding several counter insurgency operations in Punjab resulting in more than hundred thousand Sikhs being killed extra judicially by Indian security forces. The plaintiffs in the class action human rights violation law suit against PM Manmohan Singh are seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the torture and extra judicial killings at the hands of the Indian security forces. Under ATCA and TVPA, the US Federal Courts have jurisdiction over cases of human rights violations even though violations have occurred on foreign soils as in this case.
The September 25th complaint filed before Washington DC District Court alleges that Manmohan Singh’s culpability in the crimes of torture and extra judicial killings of Sikh community started in 1991 when he took the office of Finance Minister of India. Manmohan Singh approved and financed, as head of Finance Ministry, the infamous practice of “cash rewards” to members of security forces for killing Sikhs through extra judicial means often in “staged and fake encounters” to curb the Sikh rights’ movement in Punjab, the complaint further alleges.
The 24 page complaint alleges that during his tenure as PM (2004-present), Manmohan Singh has actively shielded and protected the members of his political party who were involved in organizing and carrying out genocidal attacks on the Sikh population of India during November 1984 resulting in the death of more than 30, 000 Sikhs.
Justifying the filing of rights violation lawsuit against PM Singh, attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to SFJ stated that PM Singh should be held accountable before world community for funding the crimes against humanity and protecting security force personnel involved in extrajudicial killings of Sikhs in the State of Punjab.
Since it is uphill task to serve PM Singh through regular process while he will be in Whitehouse to attend a summit with President Obama, an emergency motion will be filed with the Washington Federal Court for leave “to effect alternative means of service” by allowing the rights group to deliver the summons to White House staff and members of PM Singh’s security detail added attorney Pannun.
The Sikh groups are holding a “Justice Rally” on September 27 in front of White House during Obama-Singh meeting. The rally is aimed at exposing the practice of impunity towards the police officers responsible for extra judicial killings and the perpetrators of November 1984 Sikh Genocide. The “Justice Rally” is supported by Sikh organizations and management committees of Gurudwaras across the United States and Canada.
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