International support to declare 1984 riots a genocide

July 15th, 2010 - 1:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, July 15 (IANS) A global human rights advocacy group working for Sikh rights Thursday called for international support after the Sikh high priests in Amritsar announced that the 1984 anti-Sikh riots across would now be called a ‘genocide’.
Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, US-based International Human Rights Organisation’s (IHRO) attorney in New York, sought international support to get the 1984 carnage of Sikhs declared globally as a genocide.

The five Sikh high priests, led by chief of the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikh religion, Gurbachan Singh, met in Sikh holy city of Amritsar, 250 km from here, Wednesday and announced that Sikhs should now call the 1984 anti-Sikh riots a ‘genocide’.

Pannun said: “The central religious authority of Sikhs - the Jathedars of the Takhts - five high priests have declared that the November 1984 killings of Sikhs in India, in which thousands of innocent Sikhs were killed across 18 states and more than 100 cities was a genocide.”

“According to Giyani Gurbachan Singh, Akal Takht Jathedar, the targeted and planned killing of Sikhs and attacks on gurdwaras was a direct attack on the Sikh religion itself,” he added.

“The declaration from Akal Takht is very significant because it brings finality for the Sikhs as to whether the killings were genocide or not. We will seek global support to get it declared as a genocide internationally,” he added.

The Akal Takht directed the Sikh community, Sikh organisations, media and other groups around the world to call November 1984 ‘Sikh Genocide’ and to support Sikhs for justice in their efforts to get the genocide recognised internationally.

“Over 25 years have passed, but the 1984 victims are still awaiting justice,” the Akal Takht chief said.

Over 6,000 Sikhs were mercilessly killed by mobs following the assassination of then prime minister India Gandhi by her two Sikh bodyguards at her official residence in New Delhi Oct 31, 1984.

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