Sikhs want Obama to raise 1984 riots issue in Indian parliament

Monday, November 1, 2010

NEW YORK - Ahead of US President Barack Obama’s India visit, hundreds of Sikhs held a protest rally in front of the United Nations, asking him to raise the issue of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots before the Indian parliament.

“He (Obama) must raise this issue in his speech to the India parliament,” said Gurpatwant Pannun, lawyer for Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a US based group that organised the rally here Monday.

“We also want the UN to intervene to bring the perpetrators to justice,” he said. In September, Bakhshish Singh Sandhu, coordinator of Sikhs For Justice had met Obama briefly to describe the events of 1984 and asked him to take up the matter in New Delhi, the group said.

Pannun noted that despite several attempts made by the Sikhs to bring the matter to the attention of the Obama administration, the president had not included any discussion of the anti-Sikh riots in his agenda.

“Obama cannot trade dollars with blood; we want him to pay tribute to the Sikhs who died,” he said.

SFJ also announced that widows of Nov 1984 anti Sikh riots will also hold a protest rally on Nov 8 when President Obama will be addressing the Indian parliament.

“The purpose of the protest is to remind the president that Sikhs and other religious minorities of India have been victims of violence and as president of United States he has moral and legal obligation to address the violation of human rights,” it said.

SFJ has also initiated a case against Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath in New York for his alleged role in the killings.

Filed under: Religion

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