On the 29th anniversary of the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, a number of human rights organizations, religious and social groups will start a public campaign in the first week of November, under the banner, 'Forgotten Citizens' to create mass awareness on the struggle waged by the next of kin f those who perished in these riots. The aim would be highlight the cases of people, still awaiting justice.
Senior Supreme Court advocate HS Phoolka will be spearheading the campaign. He has been fighting the cases of riot victims in court. The campaign to be initiated from New Delhi, will commence with a 'Akhand Paath' on November 1 at gurdwara Bangla Sahib. A 'bhog' will be organised at the same gurdwara on November 3.
Phoolka added that a photo exhihibtition depicting the brutal killings of Sikh men, women and children will be organised at the same gurdwara.
On November 3, as many as 3,000 turbans, each bearing the name of a victim killed during the riots, will be displayed either at India Gate or at Jantar Mantar.
Phoolka added that 3,000 was the official figure of Sikhs killed during the riots as per government records, though the number was on the higher side. Phoolka, along with former Jarnail Singh, also met Akal Takht Jathedar, Giani Gurbachan Singh.
"The Jathedar has told us that he will consult the heads of the other Takhts before arriving at a decision on whether to allow such a display of the Sikh head gear or not. We respect his views and will wait for his verdict," said Phoolka.
Asked whether he favoured the construction of a memorial to those who were killed in the 1984 riots, Phoolka said that such a memorial should come up in the national capital.
It should be a memorial not just for Sikhs but should be a reminder to the entire nation of a holocaust that happened in 1984, he added. "If punishment had been meted out to those responsible for the riots, then perhaps riots in Gujarat, Mumbai and now in the North East would not have happened," he added.