– 35 Years of Injustice: Candle March taken out in Delhi to pay homage to the victims of 1984 Sikh genocide

Sikh24 Editors

New Delhi – India, 01 November 2019. A candle march was taken out in Delhi to pay homage to thousands of Sikhs killed by the fanatic Hindu mobs during November-1984’s Sikh genocide.

SAD president Sukhbir Badal, DSGMC president Manjinder Singh Sirsa and Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal led this candle march, which began from Gurdwara Sri Bangla Sahib and concluded at Gurdwara Sri Rakabganj Sahib.

Interacting with media, SAD president Sukhbir Badal said that the Sikhs have been striving for justice since the last 35 years in this largest of “democracy” of the world. “All the perpetrators of this carnage were honored with important constitutional posts like Governor,” he added.

Sukhbir Badal further said that the Congress will forever be known as a traitor of the Qaum for orchestrating the bloodbath and Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, who sings paeans of the murderers, will be just as culpable.

Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that she feels proud to be a part of government which sent Sajjan Kumar behind the bars. “Other perpetrators like Jagdish Tytler and Kamal Nath will also be behind the bars soon,” she claimed.

Beside it, an exhibition of the photographs pertaining to the 1984 Sikh genocide was also organized by the DSGMC in Connaught Place of Delhi.

35 Years of Injustice: Candle March taken out in Delhi to pay homage to the victims of 1984 Sikh genocide

The Statesman – Shiromani Akali Dal targets Kamal Nath as MHA is to reopen 1984 riot cases against him

The Union Home Ministry has cleared a proposal to reopen 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases against alleged involvement of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath by a special investigation team.

New Delhi – India, 09 September 2019. The Union Home Ministry has cleared a proposal to reopen 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases against alleged involvement of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath by a special investigation team. Delhi’s Shiromani Akali Dal MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa said on Monday.

Sirsa tweeted, “A big victory for Akali Dal. SIT Opens case against @OfficeOfKNath for his alleged involvement in 1984 Sikh genocide. Notification issued by MHA upon my submission last year, Case number 601/84 to reopen and consider fresh Evidence against Kamal Nath,” he said in a tweet.

Talking to media on the issue, Sirsa said that two witnesses were ready to depose against the Congress leader. “I request the people who were an eyewitness to Kamal Nath killing Sikhs to come forward and become a witness, there is no need to be scared.”

Shiromani Akali Dal targets Kamal Nath as MHA to reopen 1984 riot cases against him – Genocide victims ask SIT to probe former UP DGP’s statement about Kamal Nath

Sikh24 Editors

New Delhi – India, 12 August 2019. On August 10, the All India Riot Victims Relief Committee submitted a memorandum to the Special Investigation Team seeking investigation of statement given by the former DGP of Uttar Pradesh Sulkhan Singh about the involvement of Kamal Nath in the 1984 Sikh genocide.

The AIRVRC head Kuldeep Singh Bhogal and Advocate Prasoon Kumar submitted this memorandum to the SIT members at their office in New Delhi.

Sharing the development with media, Kuldeep Singh Bhogal informed that the former DGP of Uttar Pradesh Sulkhan Singh had given a statement in the media in which he had confirmed the involvement of Madhya Pradesh’s CM Kamal Nath in the 1984 Sikh genocide. He added that they had raised the demand to call Sulkhan Singh as a witness with the SIT earlier.

Bhogal further informed that the SIT members have now informed them that Sulkhan Singh has said that he was not an eye-witness account of the 1984 Sikh genocide and had posted on Facebook on the basis of hearsay and what he was told by his friends at that time.

He added that the SIT has informed them that Sulkhan Singh has removed that post now.

“We have still requested the SIT officials to investigate those people who had informed Sulkhan Singh about the involvement of Kamal Nath in the 1984 Sikh genocide,” he informed while saying that a DGP rank official can’t give an irresponsible statement.

Genocide victims ask SIT to probe former UP DGP’s statement about Kamal Nath

NDTV – Supreme Court issues notice to Delhi Police in 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots case

The Supreme Court bench set July 23 as the next date of hearing, stating they would hear the matter in a detailed manner on that day.

New Delhi – India, 05 July 2019. The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the Delhi Police on a batch of pleas filed by convicts in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

The matter was heard by a three-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose.

The pleas had been filed by various convicts who were indicted by the Delhi High Court.

The Supreme Court bench set July 23 as the next date of hearing, stating they would hear the matter in a detailed manner on that day.

After a span of 22 years, the Delhi High Court on November 28 last year had upheld the Karkardooma trial court’s order convicting 88 people in a case relating to anti-Sikh riots that took place in East Delhi’s Trilokpuri area in 1984.

In 1996, the Sessions Court of Karkardooma had convicted 88 of the total arrested accused. The convicts had later filed an appeal in the Delhi High Court against the trial court”s order.

More than 100 people were arrested in November 1984 for allegedly rioting, burning houses and violating curfew imposed in the Trilokpuri area of Delhi.

Massive riots had erupted across the country after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her bodyguards. As per the official records, around 2,800 Sikhs were killed across India, including 2100 in Delhi alone, during the violence.

The Tribune – Manjinder Singh Sirsa: Centre has agreed to probe Kamal Nath’s role in ’84 riots

Tribune News Service

New Delhi – India, 15 June 2019. Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Manjinder Singh Sirsa today claimed that the Home Ministry agreed to ask the SIT to investigate afresh case against Madhya Pradesh CM and Congress leader Kamal Nath for his alleged involvement in the anti-Sikh riots.

The SIT was constituted by the Home Ministry to investigate closed cases of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. He said the name of Kamal Nath was deliberately not mentioned in the FIR (601/84) registered on November 1, 1984, for killing two Sikhs in Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib.

Addressing the media, Sirsa said the DSGMC approached the SIT for FIR against Kamal Nath, but due to technical problems the FIR was not lodged. Now the Centre had agreed to initiate an inquiry.

DNA – 1984 anti-Sikh riots: Justice has not been served to us, says victim

As Gurjal Kaur, 75, stares blankly at the dirty, moldering wall of her house, her nightmarish memories of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots turn into fresh bleeding wounds.

With Punjab going to polls on Sunday, Congress leader Sam Pitroda’s flippant remark that “1984 hua to hua” and the BJP’s relentless offensive over it has brought the anti-Sikh riots back into the political discourse.

The survivors of the riots in the CRPF colony of Ludhiana claim that successive Congress governments delayed justice to the affected families.

Kaur, who lost two of her sons, Harbhajan Singh and Amarjit Singh, in the 1984 communal flare-up, claims the Akalis have helped the survivors of the riots the most and that the previous Congress governments at the Centre and in the state “ruined our lives”.

Charanjeet Kaur, 59, who lost her two sons and husband in the riots, says, “We saw what people would not have seen during Partition. Mobs burnt thousands of Sikh men alive and raped the women.”

Gurdeep Kaur of the women’s wing of 1984 Sikh Katle-Aam Peerat Welfare Society alleges former Punjab chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal did not let the grant given by the Centre reach the victim families in the state.

“The Akali government took some steps, but those were not enough. There are around 35,000 riot-affected families in Punjab, and the Badal government gave flats only to 3,000,” she rues.

“Four commissions, nine committees, and two SITs were set up to probe the killings. Why? It is clear that the Congress governments wanted to hide someone’s role in the riots,” she says.

Former AAP leader and senior lawyer H S Phoolka, who has been representing victims of the riots in court cases, says that instead of punishing leaders involved in the anti-Sikh riots, the Congress had elevated and promoted them.

A state Congress leader on condition of anonymity says no one can question Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on his commitment toward ensuring justice to the victims of the riots.

“He had himself resigned from Parliament to protest against what had happened…,” the leader says.

The Hindu – Punjab’s voters say real issues are missing from discourse

Vikas Vasudeva

Patiala – Panjab – India, 17 May 2019. Focus on ‘religious issues’ by political parties distracts from pressing concerns on unemployment, agrarian distress, and the drug trade.

As the election draws closer, the political discourse in Punjab continues to be dominated by ‘religious issues’. But many voters, especially youth and farmers, feel it is an attempt by political parties to divert attention from the real issues of unemployment, drug abuse and trade, and agrarian distress.

As the campaign gained pace across Punjab, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and its alliance partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could be seen repeatedly raising the 1984 anti-Sikh riots issue.

The ruling Congress, on the other hand, is attacking the Akalis on the “Bargari sacrilege” of 2015, and the Kotkapura-Behbal Kalan police firing incident that followed it.

In Patiala, home town of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, a Punjabi University student Navdeep Singh strongly feels that if a country needs to progress, it cannot afford to get stuck in its past, be it on religion or any other issue.

“Political parties in their manifestos promise to give jobs but later, when it comes to implementation, there’s no accountability. In 2014, the BJP government promised to gives jobs but what happened? The same is the case with the State’s Congress government here, promises were made but there is nothing on the ground.

I feel the time has come to evolve a mechanism where the manifesto of political parties should be made a legal document, which, if not implemented, could be challenged under the law,” said Mr. Singh, who is pursuing doctorate in Economics.

“As I complete my doctorate, I would want to venture something on my own. I am not averse to a job but the problem I have been witnessing, especially in the private sector, is the non-availability of a job in keeping with the qualification.

If I get a job that is below my qualification, then what’s the whole point of getting an education? It’s one of the reasons that India is facing the problem of a ‘brain drain’,” he said.

Lost turf

In Patiala, the Congress candidate, former Union Minister Preneet Kaur, is embroiled in a battle to reclaim the party’s lost turf as the seat is set for a triangular electoral contest. Ms Kaur, wife of Captain Amarinder, tasted bitter defeat at the hands of Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Dharamvira Gandhi in 2014 Lok Sabha poll.

Another student on the campus, Jaswant Singh, shared similar sentiments: “Unemployment is a big issue here, but the main political parties have been raising ‘religious issues’ to divert attention from real issues. Youth from Punjab are going to foreign countries in search of jobs.

There is no guarantee of a job even after completing my studies. These days, there are hardly any jobs in the government sector. The private sector offers jobs but then, there’s no job security there.”

Patiala, which has traditionally seen a fight between the Congress and the SAD, is witnessing a triangular contest this time with AAP rebel Dr Gandhi fighting as a joint candidate of the Punjab Democratic Alliance.

The SAD has fielded former minister Surjit Singh Rakhra as its candidate. The AAP’s Neena Mittal is also in the fray.

Patiala-based farmer leader Avtar Singh Korjiwala of the Bhartiya Kisan Union Ekta (Dhakonda), points out that political parties continue to adopt an indifferent attitude towards the farmers’ plight.

Also, in this election, there is hardly anyone talking about the drugs menace in the State, he added.

“Be it the ruling Congress or the SAD-BJP, no one cares for us. Now they are raising ‘religious issues’ to deflect attention from their failures. Our Union is urging farmers across the district to boycott the elections. If they don’t want to boycott, then farmers should opt for NOTA (None of the Above),” Mr. Korjiwala said.

The Indian Express – Why it is necessary to remember and reflect on our history of mass violence

Those baying for the blood of Sam Pitroda must also think about the need to remember and reflect on our history of mass violence and our own thoughtlessness towards it.


Op/Ed, 15 May 2019. Rahul Gandhi’s firm and unambiguous rebuke to Sam Pitroda for his flippant observation regarding the violence of 1984 is welcome. But to say it was a “tragedy” which caused pain to “people” is to shy away from calling the violence by its name, that it was a violence targeted against the Sikhs.

It was definitely a tragedy but only for the Sikh community. Besides, the hatred this violence unleashed was harnessed for the polls by the Congress campaign managers.

It is ironic but true that such acts of violence generate contempt and hatred for the victim and not sympathy in the perpetrators. There is hardly any repentance and atonement. They feel more empowered by this violence. Any claim for justice by the victims is thus resisted as it may weaken their new-found position of power, since justice would make the victims equal to the perpetrators.

Another point we often miss is that in the wake of the violence, when processes of justice and reparation begin, the community of perpetrators starts consolidating. The community which treats the perpetrators as its own, begins to complain that their own are being wrongly and unnecessarily hounded by “victims”, who refuse to come out of their victimhood.

The argument is the original fault lies with the victim who provoked simple, non-violent people and thus, dehumanised them. It was a momentary thing and should be forgotten; people need to move on. It is this attitude which subconsciously leads the system, made of people who identify more with the perpetrators, to create obstacles in the pursuit of justice.

That the victims are left alone in the search for justice and mostly resented, explains why the idea of a “people” cannot turn into reality. Without a sincere community of pain, you cannot have a community of justice. In the absence of these, the talk of a nation becomes farcical.

Pitroda must take the flak for the crudeness of his remarks, but it should also be a moment for all of us to reflect on the nature of the violence and our complicity in it. Most of the persons, their numbers must be in the thousands, who participated in the massacre of thousands of Sikhs have not only escaped justice but continue to live with, and within, us respectfully.

My mind often goes back to Ashok Rajpath of Patna and the shops of Sikhs being looted with glee by students and government employees. None of them had to face punitive action for the violence they unleashed on the Sikhs.

Non-reflection on the violence stops us from thinking about the implication of letting all the police and executive officers in the services, who were mute spectators of the violence or in many cases collaborators, go scot-free.

To expect partners in arson and murder to keep law and order distorts the very concept of rule of law. The lack of a sense of urgency in various organs of the state, including the judiciary, to punish the perpetrators of violence, shows that a desire for justice remains an exception in this country.

It should not be a surprise that the anti-Sikh violence got a mention for the first time in the textbooks only in 2005. Ironically, the books were prepared under the watch of a Congress-led government. Our carelessness towards acts of mass violence and the tendency as a society to be blind towards it has a long history!

We, who claim to be traditionally a non-violent people, must be brave enough to face the genocidal tendency inherent in us. There is a substantial body of literature comprising testimonies of the victims, stories of their woes and agony, their struggle for justice. But there is almost nothing available to understand the minds of the murderers and their accomplices.

It is fine to keep the focus on the wronged, but it often makes them look helpless. We need to turn our gaze towards the perpetrators, and name them. It is not difficult to identify the origins of mass violence and reflect on the impact of the violence.

We would then be able to see its relations to another episode of violence, committed by state agencies in Punjab in the decade following 1984. The police officers involved in the killings and disappearances, all of them Sikhs, were rewarded by the state.

The deaths were justified as unavoidable to keep the nation intact. In post-War Europe, textbooks, poetry, prose, films etc, help us understand the nature of mass violence. Anti-Semitism is treated as a crime in those lands. Those baying for the blood of Pitroda must also think about the need to remember and reflect on our history of mass violence and our own thoughtlessness towards it.

This article first appeared in the print edition on May 15, 2019, under the title ‘The banality of hate’. The writer teaches Hindi at Delhi University

The Tribune – 1984 riots issue revived, Congress wary

Congress in ‘damage control’ mode – SAD-BJP tries to cash in on Pitroda row

Ruchika M Khanna, Tribune News Service

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 11 May 2019. The issue of 1984 anti-Sikh riots, one of the most emotive issues in Punjab, has once again came to the fore ahead of the elections, thanks to a callous statement by Congress leader Sam Pitroda. The remark could not have come at a more opportune time for the SAD-BJP.

The stage was however, set to make this an election issue by the alliance partners earlier this year, although its foundation was laid four years ago, when the BJP-led NDA government had formed an SIT to probe riot cases.

Though it was initially meant to woo the Sikh voters in Delhi (as it was formed just before the Delhi Assembly elections), it is only after two men were sentenced by a Delhi court in the case in November last year and the subsequent conviction of Sajjan Kumar in December, that the saffron party and its ally tried to cash in on the Sikh sentiments against the Congress.

The alliance was not able to use the issue successfully till now. Their effort to give ticket to Jagdish Kaur, a key witness in the case that saw Sajjan Kumar being held guilty, too did not materialise.

The SAD had tried to field her from Khadoor Sahib, but she had reportedly refused because of her old age and failing health. While this plan fizzled out, the Congress narrative against the alliance for trying to save those guilty of sacrilege grew only shriller.

But just one week for the election in the state and the political narrative has been changed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his first election rally in Punjab by using this one statement of a Congress leader believed to be close to the Gandhi family.

“Jo hua so hua” (what he said about the riots) statement by Pitroda has queered the pitch for the Congress, which is now struggling hard to wriggle out, while SAD-BJP leaders are using it as the main arsenal against the Congress. From a position of offence, the Congress has been put on the defensive.

Yesterday, CM Captain Amarinder Singh was the first to react, saying it was shocking. He said it (riots) was a big tragedy and justice had yet not been meted out to the victims.

India Today – BJP’s latest on Rajiv Gandhi: Instruction to kill came from his office in 1984 riots

The BJP claimed that it’s on record of Nanavati Commission that probed the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that instructions to kill came directly from the then PM Rajiv Gandhi’s office.

New Delhi – India, 09 May 2109. The BJP continues to target former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the campaign for the ongoing Lok Sabha election. In the latest attack on Rajiv Gandhi, the BJP alleged that the “instructions to kill” came from the then Prime Minister’s Office in 1984 riots.

“It’s on record of Nanavati Commission that probed the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the biggest genocide of India in which the government killed its own citizens, that instructions to kill came directly from the then PM Rajiv Gandhi’s office,” the BJP posted on Twitter today, adding, “The country awaits justice for this karma.”

This is in reference to Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s Sunday jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had accused the former prime minister of corruption last week.

Responding to PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi wrote on Twitter: “Modi Ji, The battle is over. Your Karma awaits you. Projecting your inner beliefs about yourself onto my father won’t protect you. All my love and a huge hug. Rahul”

PM Modi had called Rajiv Gandhi the “bhrashtachari number one” (corrupt number one) at an election rally. “Your father was termed Mr Clean by his courtiers, but his life ended as bhrashtachari no 1,” Modi had said in Uttar Pradesh.

PM Modi has continued to attack the Congress with barbs on Rajiv Gandhi. On Wednesday, he told an election rally in New Delhi that Rajiv Gandhi used naval warship INS Viraat as his “personal taxi” when he went for a holiday with his family and relatives from sasural in 1987.