September 10, 2010 | By Tejashdeep Singh
New York (September 07, 2010): Today, Honorable Judge Robert Sweet of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issued an order in the case against Kamal Nath, Indian Minister for Roadways, asking the parties to appear in the court on September 22, 2010 for a pre-trial conference to discuss “settlement, exploring contemplated motions, stipulating facts, arranging a plan and schedule for all discovery and setting a time for trial”. The case against Kamal Nath was filed in April 2010 by plaintiffs Sikhs for Justice(SFJ), a U.S.-based non-profit human rights advocacy group and victims Jasbir Singh and Mohinder Singh.
According to Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to Sikhs for Justice, the court’s order dated September 07, 2010 is the start of trial against Kamal Nath for leading the mob that attacked Gurdawara Rakab Ganj Delhi on November 1, 1984 in which many Sikhs were burnt alive.
The plaintiffs have requested a “jury trial” during will plaintiffs will submit documentary evidence proving participation of Nath and many leaders of the Indian National Congress in the November 1984 Sikh Genocide. According to Pannun, SFJ has new evidence which proves Minister Nath also organized the massacre of Sikhs in different cities of Madhya Pardesh including his constituency Chhindwara. During November 1984, hundreds of Sikhs were killed in more than 43 cities of Madhya Pardesh and according to the official documents of the Indian Government, more than 3,500 hundred claims were filed by Sikhs from the state of Madhya Pardesh alone.
Attorney Pannun further stated that “Alient Tort Claims Act of United State, the law under which trial against Kamal Nath will be held is specifically created to provide remedy and forum to victims of genocide to vindicate their complaints and the trial against Kamal Nath is one such opportunity through which SFJ plans to put on the record of the court evidence related to Genocide of Sikhs and Kamal Nath’s role in it”.
Plaintiffs will also call upon survivors and experts on Genocide as witnesses to prove that systematic killing of Sikhs in November 1984 was Genocide as defined Article 2 of the UN Convention on Genocide.
The lawsuit against Minister Nath is filed under Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) asking the U.S. Court to grant compensatory and punitive damages for his role in leading an armed mob that attacked Gurdawara Rakab Ganj Delhi on November 1, 1984 in which many Sikhs were burnt alive.
Kamal Nath did not respond to the summons issued by the court on April 06, 2010 which resulted in entry of default against Kamal Nath on Augusut 05, 2010.
Sikhs for Justice, is a U.S. based human rights advocacy group, which is striving to disseminate information regarding the Genocide of Sikhs in November 1984 and is mobilizing Human Rights Groups and the International Community on a common platform. Sikhs for Justice is pursuing the legal battle to get the justice for the victims of the November 1984 Sikh Genocide with the support of All India Sikh Students Federation, a social political organization headed by Karnail Singh Peermohammad.
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