Anti-Sikh Massacres of 1984: Indian American group demands speedy justice for riot victims

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – http://www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has called on the Government of India to mark the 27th anniversary of the anti-Sikh pogrom in 1984, by taking concrete steps to secure justice for the victims, and rehabilitation for the survivors.

The horrific violence that engulfed Delhi and parts of northern India, claimed the lives of over 3000 people and displaced thousands of others, in a reprisal against the Sikh community for the assassination of Mrs. Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.

Numerous eyewitness accounts have brought to light the fact that the rioters had access to voter records that allowed them to mark Sikh homes. Mobs of rioters were taken by bus to areas inhabited by Sikhs, where they murdered, looted and raped, with the police often doing little more than being mute witnesses. The discovery of mass graves in Haryana in 2011 shows that a full accounting of the 1984 pogrom has not yet happened.

“The 1984 anti-Sikh massacres and the failure on the part of successive governments to apprehend the culprits even after 27 years, represents one of the lowest points in the history of our democracy,” said Mr. Shaheen Khateeb, President, IAMC.

“It is absolutely unconscionable that despite 10 official commissions to investigate the events of those fateful days, the government has managed to secure convictions in only a tiny fraction of the cases,” added Mr. Khateeb.

The failure of the Congress Party to hold accountable individuals like Jagdish Tytler, Kamal Nath and Sajjan Kumar whose political careers were untouched by their implications in the anti-Sikh riots, shows that the ruling party is still in a state of denial about its own responsibility for the mass killing of Sikhs.

IAMC has called upon the Government of India, even at this late juncture, to reverse the miscarriages of justice that have taken place over the last 27 years. By bringing to justice those responsible for the riots, regardless of their political and social standing, the nation can heal the wounds of countless victims, while ensuring that targeted killings of members of any community, have no place in the world’s largest democracy.

Indian American Muslim Council (formerly Indian Muslim Council-USA) is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with 10 chapters across the nation.

For more information please visit our new website at www.iamc.com.

 

RELATED LINKS:

TIME: India’s 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots: Waiting for Justice
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1931635,00.html

AMNESTY: Sikh massacre victims await justice in India, 25 years on
http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/sikh-massacre-victims-await-justice-india-25-years-20090409

HINDU: 1984 and the violence of memory
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/article2582952.ece

LINK: Bollywood Legend Amitabh Bachchan Being Accused Of Provoking 1984 Sikh Massacre Rioters, Says Witness
http://thelinkpaper.ca/?p=11073

IBNLive: Sikh body demands memorial for Hondh-Chillar massacre victims
http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/sikh-body-demands-memorial-for-hondhchillar-massacre-victims/879367.html

FIRSTPOST: Blood-for-blood politics: From Indira Gandhi to Narendra Modi
http://www.firstpost.com/politics/blood-for-blood-politics-from-indira-gandhi-to-narendra-modi-119477.html

TCN: With bitterness and longing – remembering victims of 1984
http://twocircles.net/2011oct31/bitterness_and_longing_remembering_victims_1984.html

Contact:

Khalid Azam
phone/fax: 1-800-839-7270
email: info@iamc.com

Address:
6321 W Dempster St. Suite 295
Morton Grove, IL 60053
phone/fax: 1-800-839-7270
email: info@iamc.com

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