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1984 26 years on, Akal Takht declares 1984 anti-Sikh riots as ‘genocide’

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by spnadmin, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    1947-2014 (Archived)
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    Jun 17, 2004
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    Afer an extraordinary, marathon meeting of Jathedars at the Akal Takht — the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs —the community’s five high priests on Wednesday declared the anti-Sikh riots 26 years ago as ‘genocide’ and demanded justice for the victims. The decision seems to have been motivated by the recent resolution introduced by Indian-origin Sikh MP Sukh Dhaliwal in the Canadian Parliament, where he sought to get the bloodshed declared as a ‘genocide’. Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, who headed the meeting of the Sikh priests, admitted the move by Dhaliwal had “awakened” them to correct history. He said: “The decision regarding this should have been taken long ago. But we feel justice has not been meted out to victims.” Apart from in Delhi, over 3,000 Sikhs were killed in various parts of the country after the then prime minister Indira Gandhi was shot dead by her Sikh bodyguard on October 31, 1984.

    The Sikh clerics’ decision might push the Akali-led government in Punjab to introduce a similar resolution in the Assembly. After discussions with the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, the Congress-led UPA government might also be asked to pass a similar resolution, sources said.

    At the meeting, the Jathedars also took exception that Sikh gurdwaras should be called Sikh churches in the United States. Giani Gurbachan Singh said: “Anyone using that word will hurt the feelings of Sikhs as our places of worship are gurdwaras and not churches.” He added that granthis or priests had also been directed not to install the Guru Granth Sahib in places designated as samadhs (tombs) or massans (cremation grounds).

    Earlier, a delegation led by All India Sikh Students Federation chief Manjit Singh Bhoma, met the Jathedars demanding the CBI inquiry report in the Chitisinghpura massacre in which 36 Sikhs were killed on March 20, 2000, be made public.

    Jathedars asked the government to make the report public and demanded justice for the victims’ families from the Jammu and Kashmir government.

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