New York: A US court
has issued summons to India's Congress party to answer charges of
"conspiring, aiding, abetting and carrying out organized attacks
on Sikh population of India in November 1984."
The US District Court for the Southern District of New York issued
the summons Tuesday in a class action law suit filed by Sikhs For
Justice (SFJ), a US based community group along with several Sikh
survivors of the 1984 attacks.
The compliant against Congress alleges that in November 1984 the
"organized killing" of Sikhs took place only in states where
Congress was in power, according to SFJ legal advisor Gurpatwant
According to the Government of India's record a total of 3296
Sikhs were killed while a total of 35,535 claims for deaths and
injuries were received throughout India, he said.
But "The gravity, scale and specially the organized nature of
these attacks was concealed by the Indian governments' portraying
them as 'November 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots of Delhi,'" Pannun said.
These attacks were neither "riots" nor were they confined to Delhi
alone. In fact, during November 1984, Sikhs were attacked in 18
states and more than 100 cities of India in an identical manner
and the attackers were led by Congress (I) leaders, the complaint
Indian National Congress, the political party in power then and
now, committed the crime of Genocide against Sikhs as defined in
Article 2 of UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the
Crime of Genocide, 1948, it said.
The government of India, by painting the attacks on Sikhs in
November 1984 as "riots" instead of "Genocide" and by failing to
punish the leaders of Congress (I), violated its duties under
Article 1 the Genocide Convention, Pannun said.
Seeking relief under Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and Torture
Victim Protection Act (TVPA) is motivated by an interest in
seeking some form of justice for the victims of November 1984 Sikh
Genocide, he said.
It will raise awareness to the international community regarding
denial of justice to the victims and is a means of holding parties
in power accountable for their gross violations of human rights -
while also offering the potential to deter future abuses, Pannun
The SFJ complaint also refers to the February 2011 discovery of
"mass grave" of Sikhs who were killed in November 1984 in Haryana.
(Arun Kumar can
be contacted at email@example.com)