A New York-based separatist Sikh organisation that has been instrumental in getting summons issued to top Indian political leaders has been accused of issuing threats and abuse of the judicial process by a delegation of senior Indian Sikh leaders who have complained to the US government.
A delegation of Sikh leaders led by Manjit Singh GK, the president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, which is closely aligned to Punjab’s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, submitted a memorandum to the State Department against New York-based Sikhs for Justice (SFJ).
The SFJ had filed a lawsuit against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in connection with the 2002 riots in Gujarat when he had visited the US in September last year.
The US, however, had said that Modi enjoys immunity since he is the head of a foreign government.
The SFJ had also filed a lawsuit against Congress president Sonia Gandhi in September 2013 in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, which was dismissed by a US court.
The group had moved a petition against the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh which too was rejected on the ground of immunity.
Latest case against GK
Based on an alleged human rights violations case filed by the SFJ, a New York court had recently issued summons against Manjit Singh GK.
In the memorandum submitted to Eileen O’Connor, the deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, GK alleged that the SFJ had resorted to the abuse of the judicial system.
The delegation included Manjinder Singh Sirsa, Avtar Singh Hit, Kulwant Singh Baath, Gurdev Singh Bhola, Chaman Singh and Harvinder Singh KP.
Frivolous complaint: SFJ
“The government of the United States of America should carefully examine and penalise such organisations,” it said.
In a statement, SFJ legal adviser Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said filing of a frivolous complaint with the state department carried serious criminal and civil consequences.
“We will make sure that GK-Sirsa duo who are raising funds at the behest of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) for the upcoming Punjab elections are not allowed back in America,” Pannun threatened.