November 8, 2009 | By Tejashdeep Singh
Washington/Ludhiana (November 07, 2009): To remind the world and the American Government about the continued denial of justice to victims and survivors of the November 1984 Sikh genocide, more than 1,500 supporters marched on November 04, 2009 from Lafayette Park to Capitol Hill, Sunday, November 1, to mark the 25th anniversary of the massacre of more than 30,000 Sikhs in 18 states and 110 cities across India.
Organized by Sikhs for Justice, a human rights advocacy group, the Justice conference connected human rights organizations with the American Sikh community to deliver their message of support for the cause. Addressing the conference, Amnesty International’s T. Kumar said “We simply want to find out why this deplorable act was committed and ask why it has taken so long for those responsible to be punished. We need to deliver justice for all those Sikhs who suffered in 1984 and their families.”
The conference was created to expose the true extent of killings as a state sponsored act, in contrast to the Indian government’s position which labeled the killings as “Anti-Sikh Riots.”
“The killings, burning, robbing, rape and looting of Sikhs has constantly been termed by the Indian government as ‘reaction’ to the murder of Ms. Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984,” said Sikhs for Justice legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. “The truth, however is that the Sikh massacre was planned, organized and targeted at the behest of the ruling political party and with the active support and sometimes connivance of Police and law enforcement authorities. During the four days of carnage, Sikhs across India were located, identified, targeted and ruthlessly killed by armed and in most cases, hired career criminals and arsonists. Politicians at the top of Indian government actively instigated, provoked and ordered the killings while police and local administrators either actively participated or stood passively by.”
In a steady downpour, supporters from as far away as California and India gathered to hear speeches and remarks from senior Indian journalist Rahul Bedi, Indian Advocate Kamna Vohra, Professor Indira Prahst from Canada and Navkiran Singh from Lawyers for Human Rights International, among others. The message was clear. “We will not rest until those who are guilty are brought to justice.”
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