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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

Sikh 'genocide' plea to come up before US admn

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Fatehgarh Sahib, December 07, 2012
First Published: 23:52 IST(7/12/2012) | Last Updated: 23:53 IST(7/12/2012)

A petition seeking recognition of the November 1984 anti-Sikh violence as "genocide" would appear before the Barack Obama administration on December 15.

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According to the US policy, a petition requires 25,000 signatures to warrant an official response, while more than 27,000 people have endorsed this petition.

The petition would urge the Obama administration to fulfil its obligation under Article 1 of the UN Convention on Genocide by recognising the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as "genocide".

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor of Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), a Sikh rights group, said the petition contended that during November 1984, Congress leaders perpetrated organised violence against the Sikh community.

The petitioners are banking on the strong stand that the Obama administration took with regard to alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka.

Pannun said, "The Sikh genocide petition will expose those who organised the November 1984 attacks," adding that those involved must be prosecuted in international courts.

He said the petition, launched for signatures by the SFJ on November 15, gained the support of the Voices for Freedom (VFF), another Sikh rights group, as also the unanimous support of gurdwaras across the US.

Earlier, the rights group had filed petitions before the Parliaments of Canada and Australia for such recognition. The US, Canada and Australia are signatories to the UN Convention against Genocide and also have domestic laws declaring an intentional attack on a religious minority as "genocide".

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