1984 Violence against Sikhs in India: Sikhs For Justice submits Genocide Petition to Obama Administration

NEW YORK (TIP): “A Petition has been tabled before Obama Administration urging to recognize the organized violence perpetrated against Sikhs during November 1984 as “Genocide”. With more than 46000 signatures (29,000 online and 17000 on paper), the Sikh Genocide Petition is the first ever petition submitted to the US administration on the issue of November 1984 violence against Sikhs”, says a press release issued by Attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun Legal Advisor to the Sikhs For Justice, a Human Rights Advocacy group based in New York. The rights group “Sikh for Justice” (SFJ) announced to converge at Capitol Hill on February 01, 2013 during the Constituent Work Week of the House of Representative to lobby in support of the Sikh Genocide Petition. The US Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor is expected to respond on the Sikh Genocide petition.

Headed by Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner, the Bureau deals with issues relating to the international human rights violations and crimes against humanity. Posner, a lawyer by profession, before being appointed as Assistant Secretary of State, was the Founding Executive Director and President of Human Rights First, a US based NGO which believes in U.S. government’s full participation in the international human rights system. In support of the Sikh Genocide Petition, SFJ submitted “1984 Yes it is Genocide” Report to the Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner. The 300 page report consists of evidence showing that Sikhs were killed in large numbers in those 19 states of India where Congress (I) was in power during November 1984 and role of Congress leaders in inciting and organizing violence with intent to destroy the Sikh community.

The detailed accounts provided in the report show that over 30,000 Sikhs were killed; thousands of women were raped; hundreds of Gurudwaras were burnt and more than 300,000 were displaced during the first week of November 1984. Referring to the Article 1 and 2 of the UN Convention on Genocide, SFJ’s legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun who practices human rights law, stated that United States is under an obligation to recognize the November 1984 violence against Sikhs as “Genocide”.

The obligation under the UN Convention to recognize the Genocide transcends the economic status and trade ties with the country where the Genocide took place, added attorney Pannun. After exhausting all the judicial remedies and perplexed by the continuous impunity to the perpetrators by the successive regimes during the last 28 years, attorney Pannun stated that Sikh community is approaching international forums to seek justice and recognition of November 1984 Sikh Genocide. Petitions relating to violation of Sikh human rights and denial of justice have been filed with the Parliaments of Canada, Australia and United Kingdom exposing the extent of violence against Sikhs during November 1984 and refuting the official narrative which terms it as “anti Sikhs riots of Delhi”.

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