TORONTO/CHANDIGARH: Thousands of Sikhs gathered in Toronto and urged Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to raise the issue of 1984 Sikh genocide with the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Harper is on a visit to India this week and expected to pay obeisance at Takht Kesgarh Sahib, Punjab.
Over three thousand Sikhs were butchered in the streets of Delhi in November 1984 post assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. What is more intriguing is the fact that justice has not been delivered in this well-planned massacre which took place in Delhi for three days.
The Canadian Sikhs also urged Harper to raise the issue of branding them as ‘supporters of terrorism’.Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), an international human rights organization and All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) are also set to lodge a petition in United Nations this month against the carnage and declaring it as ‘genocide’.
SFJ has launched a campaign named ‘1984 Yes, Its Genocide’ to collect signatures of millions around the globe for support in petition to the UN.Meanwhile, legal advisor to SFJ, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, lashed out at the Indian government saying the country’s judiciary has proved to be a failure in the 1984 riots.
SFJ has also submitted a memorandum to the Canadian PM which states that Canadian Sikhs are being branded as ‘supporters of terrorism’ by Indian government as they are one of those in forefront campaigning and raising awareness about the 1984 carnage. They also alleged that Indian officials were spying on the Sikhs and threatening them of dire consequences against their relative in India.
Indira Prahst, Chair, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Langara College and Race and Ethnic Relations instructor who specializes in Sikh human rights issues, said the organized violence against the Sikh community in November 1984 were neither riots nor pogrom but clearly a genocide.
Director SFJ’s International Policy, Jay Grewal, meanwhile, said they will be lobbying with Canadian Parliament for a motion to recognize 1984 killings as ‘genocide’.SFJ also organized Sikh Genocide and Sovereignty Conference with support of Ontario Gurdwaras Committee (OGC) and other Sikh organizations.