US Senate adopts resolution endorsing 1984 Sikh violence in India as ‘genocide’
Senate of New Jersey, a northeastern state in the United States (US), has unanimously passed a resolution condemning the 1984 anti-Sikh violence in India as genocide.
The resolution was sponsored by Senator Stephen M Sweeney which will now be referred to the US president and vice-president.
The resolution read that the Sikh genocide began on November 1, 1984, after the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the capital territory of Delhi and the states of Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Himachal, Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa, Jammu and Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Maharashtra.
It noted that the genocide lasted three days during which more than 30,000 Sikhs were brutally murdered.
“On April 16, 2015, the California State Assembly 22 unanimously passed Assembly Concurrent Resolution 34, which 23 recognised the systematic and organized killings of Sikhs by the 24 Indian government in Delhi”, it recalled while mentioning, “On October 17, 2018, the General Assembly of the 27 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania unanimously passed House 28 Resolution HR-1160 declaring the November 1984 anti-Sikh 29 violence as genocide.”
It noted that the eyewitnesses, journalists, and human rights activists have compiled evidence showing that the Indian government and law enforcement officials organised, participated in, and failed to intervene to prevent the killings through direct and indirect means.
The resolution pointed out that mass graves have been discovered in the villages of Hondh Chillar and Pataudi in Haryana in 2011 while claiming that many more will continue to be discovered in the future.
“The “Widow Colony,” the Tilak Vihar neighborhood in New Delhi, still houses thousands of Sikh women, who were forced to bear mass rape and witness the hacking, burning, and murder of their husbands, fathers, and sons, and who are still calling for justice against the perpetrators,” it said.
It added that many survivors of the Sikh genocide immigrated to the US and established communities in different places.
It concluded, “This resolution recognizes and condemns the state-sponsored violence that targeted Sikhs across India in 1984, an important and historic step towards justice, accountability, and reconciliation, 6 which should be an example to other governments.”
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