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Monitor justice for victims of 1984 ‘genocide’, Sikh group to UNHRC

Speaking at a session of the council in Geneva, Jasdev Singh Rai of London-based Sikh Human Rights Group called for intervention by the special adviser to the UN secretary-general.

punjab Updated: Sep 15, 2018 09:19 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
HIndustan Times, London
1984,victims,genocide
Jasdev Singh Rai of London-based Sikh Human Rights Group. (HT Photo)

Recalling the December 2014 categorisation by home minister Rajnath Singh of the 1984 anti-Sikh violence as “genocide”, a leading Sikh human rights group on Friday urged the UN Human Rights Council to monitor the process for providing justice to the victims.

Speaking at a session of the council in Geneva, Jasdev Singh Rai of London-based Sikh Human Rights Group said the issue remained in the public domain and called for intervention by the special adviser to the UN secretary-general.

Recalling the deaths and incidents of November 1984, Rai said: “We applaud the bold, emotive and public statement by the current Indian home minister Rajnath Singh in calling these crimes genocide in a public gathering. We hope the Indian State will also officially recognise the four days of massacres as genocide.

“We urge the adviser and the HRC to monitor progress of justice for victims of previous crimes of genocide, efforts made by the concerned states to punish the perpetrators as well as steps taken to prevent such further crimes, particularly where the issue remains in the public domain.”

According to Rai, India’s judicial process has allegedly “frustrated justice” for the victims, despite 11 commissions of inquiry and attempts to convict the leading perpetrators. Independent reports, he said, had identified the Congress party to be responsible.

Rai, who has been in talks with the Narendra Modi government in London on issues related to overseas Sikhs, said: “This party (Congress) held power until recently. Its leader apologised for the crimes but failed to convict the perpetrators when his party was in power.

“We urge the Indian State to take further measures to officially identify the political party responsible, hold the senior politicians of the party to account and take steps to prevent such heinous crimes that remain a blot on the history of India,” he said at the session on “Clustered interactive dialogue with the special adviser to the secretary-general on the prevention of genocide”.

First Published: Sep 14, 2018 23:09 IST