1984 Pogrom Raised as Sikh Genocide at UN

Highlighting several independent report that held Congress as responsible for the killings, Rai urged the government of the day to take further measures to officially identify those responsible and bring them to book so as “to prevent such heinous crimes that remain a blot on the history of India”. LokMarg is reproducing the entire statement at the council meeting here as under: “Sikh Human Rights Group welcomes the report of the Special Advisor on Prevention of Genocide and appreciates the mandate may not extend to retrospective identification of genocide.  However we urge the Advisor and the HRC to monitor progress of justice for victims of previous crimes of genocide, efforts made by the concerned States to punish the perpetrators as well as steps taken to prevent such further crimes, particularly where the issue remains in the public domain. We draw the attention of the HRC to the organised massacres of over 4000, possibly 10000 Sikhs in Delhi in November 1984 by attackers who were bussed in and supplied weapons and lists. The homes and shops of Sikhs were targeted, they were dragged out and killed with iron rods, clubbed to death and many burnt alive with tyres around their necks. The targeting of a single community by organised mobs aided by powerful people holding political positions in the State and when the police as well as Army remained inactive for four days constitutes genocide according to our understanding of the definition. We applaud the bold, emotive and public statement by the current Indian Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh in calling these crimes genocide in a public gathering. We hope the Indian State will also officially recognise the four days of massacres as genocide. We recognise that efforts have been made through 11 commissions of enquiries and attempts made to convict the leading perpetrators but judicial process has frustrated justice. Independent reports have identified the Indian Congress Party to be responsible. This party held power until recently. Its leader apologised for the crimes but failed to convict the perpetrators when his party was in power. We urge the Indian State to take further measures to officially identify the political party responsible, hold the senior politicians of the party to account and take steps to prevent such heinous crimes that remain a blot on the history of India. We request the HRC to monitor the progress of and assist the current Government in its efforts to deliver justice for victims and punishments of those responsible for the Nov 1984 Genocide of Sikhs in Delhi and surrounding areas.”  ]]>

Centre changes tack in Kashmir, seeks talks

It’s back to the dialogue board in Jammu and Kashmir again. In a sudden change of its tough stand, the Centre on Monday announced its decision to start a dialogue process in Jammu and Kashmir and appointed former Intelligence Bureau (IB) Director Dineshwar Sharma as its representative for talks with “all” stakeholders in the troubled-state.

“Carrying forward the conviction and consistency in its policy, we have decided that a sustained dialogue process should begin in Jammu and Kashmir,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh told a hurriedly convened news conference here after having maintained for long that there could be no talks with the separatist Hurriyat. “As a representative of the government of India Sharma will initiate a sustained interaction and dialogue to understand legitimate aspirations of people in Jammu and Kashmir. He will meet elected representatives, political parties, different organisations and individuals he wants to. “The sustained dialogue and interaction with all sections of the society and to understand the legitimate aspirations of people of Jammu and Kashmir, particularly its youth. “Now what we will do for Jammu and Kashmir, will do with clean intention.” Asked whether the interlocutor, who will have Cabinet rank, would hold talks with Hurriyat leaders, Rajnath Singh appeared not to rule out such a possibility, saying Sharma had a mandate to hold a dialogue “with anyone he wants”. The Centre had been maintaining a tough Kashmir policy and had ruled out talks with separatists in recent months. The Home Minister said after completing the exercise, Sharma, a 1979 batch IPS officer with intimate knowledge of the security situation and Kashmir affairs, will give a report to the Centre. Sharma was Director of IB from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016. Earlier, he was the Joint Director of the IB’s Islamist Terrorism Desk from 2003 to 05. He headed the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Jammu and Kashmir and was the director of the BSF Academy, and Additional Director and Special Director in the IB. Replying to questions, the minister said no time limit could be set whether it is three months or six months or more. “He can talk to any one he wants.” He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had talked to all political parties as to what could be done to find a solution to Kashmir problems. “People told us that the dialogue process should be started. We are doing this,” he said and recalled the Prime Minister’s August 15 speech saying “neither by bullet, nor by abuses but by embracing the people we can solve the problems in Jammu and Kashmir”. Asked about the status of the resignation reportedly given by Governor N.N. Vohra and whether it would be accepted in the new context, Rajnath Singh merely replied that the elected government is there and the Governor is there.  
“From no-talks to talks-with-all-stakeholders is a major victory for those who had strongly argued for a political solution in Jammu and Kashmir. With the appointment of an interlocutor, I hope the government has finally admitted muscular approach has failed.”
P Chidambaram, former Union home minister
 
 (with IANS)
  // ]]>