DNA India – Ontario resolution: Akali Dal seeks withdrawal of MEA response

New Delhi, 10 April 2017. Ruling NDA constituent Akali Dal today criticised the External Affairs Ministry for rejecting a a motion adopted by the Assembly of Ontario in Canada which had termed the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as a “genocide”.

The issue was raised in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha by Akali Dal members who demanded that the External Affairs Ministry should withdraw its statement and the External Affairs Minister should make a statement in Parliament.

Raising the issue in the Rajya Sabha, Akali leader Naresh Gujral said, “I demand that the statement by the MEA be withdrawn and the External Affairs Minister make a statement in the House.”

Referring to the events of November 1984 after assassination of Indira Gandhi, he said, “There was a state-condoned massacre of innocent Sikhs that went on for three horrible days and nights.

The government and police refused to intervene and the minority community was targeted only because of their identity, their beard, their turban and their names.”

Congress leader Anand Sharma objected to the remarks but Gujral went ahead, saying the November 1984 incidents were not a riot as “successive Congress governments have tried to make us believe”.

In fact, many Hindus and Muslims had risked their lives to save their Sikh friends, he said.

Raising a point of order, Sharma said “this is Parliament of India. Can you allow a statement that there was a state-sponsored genocide on record”.

To this, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said he would go through the records and “expunge whatever is to be expunged”.

In the Lok Sabha, Akali Dal member Prem Singh Chandumajra raised the issue and criticised the MEA for rejecting the motion.

He also demanded that the Ministry spokesperson should withdraw the statement.

Last week, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay had said, “We have noted the passage of a Private Member’s Motion in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on April 6. We reject this misguided Motion which is based on a limited understanding of India, its Constitution, society, ethos, rule of law and the judicial process.”

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-ontario-resolution-akali-dal-seeks-withdrawal-of-mea-response-2394038

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