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1984 Anti-Sikh Pogrom Sikh Group Meets Obama On Anti-Sikh Riots


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
NEW YORK: A Sikh group, campaigning for justice for the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, met US President Barack Obama, ahead of his visit to India in November.

The group met Obama in Philadelphia on Monday, according to Sikhs For Justice, a New York-based group, which has initiated a case against Transport Minister Kamal Nath in NYC for his alleged role in the riots.

"It was very brief meeting and he listened patiently and nodded affirmatively," said Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to Sikhs for Justice, who also noted that it was an "informal meeting" that took place when Obama came for the fundraiser for Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak's campaign.

Pannun would not describe how Obama responded. Bakhshish Singh Sandhu Coordinator of Sikhs For Justice briefed Obama with the details on the events of 1984 and asked him to take up the matter in New Delhi, when he visits, according to Sikhs for Justice.

"No other world leader is more capable to understand the plight of Sikhs in India than President Obama who himself comes from a minority community which had suffered a lot of discrimination and injustice in America," said Pannun, noting that his group would be continue to remind "Team Obama" about this issue until November.

Meanwhile, Sikhs for Justice is searching for a law firm to take up their case before heading for the "pre trial conference" in Nath's case, which was scheduled for Wednesday but has been postponed.

"This is the work for a big law firm...it needs to be handled effectively and we want to be ready," said Pannun.

The complaint states that the "The defendant was seen and heard by many on the scene of Gurudwara Rakab Ganj.

In this particular incident defendant was leading and in control of a mob of about four thousand people.

Nath has repeatedly denied any involvement and has been cleared by the Nanavati Inquiry Commission, which re described the minister's testimony as "vague" but concluded that there was no evidence that he had incited a mob.



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