October 27, 2014 | By Parmjeet Singh
New Delhi, India: A joint statement issued by various organizations says: [t]he genocide of Sikhs in Delhi, Kanpur and other places, which took place 30 years back, cannot and must not be forgotten. Right here in the capital of our country, organized mobs, led by the top leaders of the ruling Congress party, burnt alive and killed over 7000 innocent people of the Sikh faith. They indulged in mass kidnapping and rape of hundreds of women and girls. Far from providing protection to the victims, the state and security forces assisted the murderers. Subsequently, the inaction and the failure to register cases or properly investigate those that were filed are testimony to the highest level of patronage the killings enjoyed. The then Prime Minister of India, late Rajiv Gandhi, justified this genocide saying “When a big tree falls, the earth shakes”. There is no doubt that the massacre of the Sikhs in 1984 was state-organised “communal massacre”.
The statement further says [s]imilar, state-organised massacres of other communities have also taken place in different parts of India such as Nellie massacre of tribal people in Assam in 1983, massacre of Hindus and Muslims in Mumbai in 1993, in Gujarat in 2002 and in Muzzafarnagar recently, and the massacre of Christians in Kandhmal in Odisha in 2008. In all these cases, the Indian state and security forces refused to discharge their sacred duty of protecting citizens. The murderers roamed freely for days on end. Right from the time of independence, organising genocides and pogroms has been the preferred weapon of the ruling establishment and their political parties to establish and consolidate their rule.
[E]ven 30 years after the genocide, no progress has been made to secure punishment for the guilty. The politicians and police officers responsible for 1984 not only escaped indictment but were rewarded. If the guilty of 1984 had been punished and not rewarded, and the Indian state and the ruling party held responsible for the massacre, then the subsequent genocides and massacres would not have happened.
“We are told to “forget and forgive”. We are told that people are communal and the state and security forces will protect us. We are told that we should not be negative and should move on” it reads, while adding that [t]hese are all efforts to divert us from finding a lasting solution to end communal violence. Several organisations and prominent citizens, who have consistently been in the forefront of the struggle against state-organised communal violence, are continuing their campaign to demand justice to the victims of state-organised communal violence. It is essential to establish firmly the principle of command responsibility so that those in authority who mastermind such massacres are punished for their crimes.
[T]he campaign continues the struggle in this 30th year. We appeal to you as men and women of conscience to join the massive demonstration from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar on November 1st and voice our collective indignation.
The statement was jointly released by Lok Raj Sangathan, Sikh Forum, Better Sikh Schools, Sikhi Sidak, Ghadar Heritage (Canada), Ghadar International, Citizens for Democracy, Sikh Chetna Lehar, People’s Movement against UAPA, National Patriotic People’s Front, Purogami Mahila Sangathan, Mazdoor Ekta Committee, People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights, Nishant Natya Manch, All India Students’ Association, All India Progresive women’s Association, Communist Ghadar Party of India, Social Democratic Party of India, Welfare Party of India, CPIML (New Proletarian), Qoumi Party of India, United Muslims Front, Popular Front of India, SUCI (Communist), Association for Protection of Civil Rights, PUCL Delhi, Akhil Hind Forward Bloc (Krantikari), Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Hind Naujawan Ekta Sabha, All India Workers’ Council, Nagarik Parishad and National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations.
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