- The Prime Minister of India
November 1984 Genocide- the guilty must be punished to check communal violence and secure a safe future
It is a matter of delivering justice
- The Prime Minister of India
The genocide of Sikhs in 1984 has raised questions about the secular character of our country and about democracy and the rule of law. It is with a deep sense of sadness, as well as anger, that we are writing to you, as the head of the government. For 28 years on end, the chief organizers of this genocide have not been identified, let alone tried and punished for their crimes. Do we the people have any control over our elected representatives when they flagrantly violate their raj dharma, of protecting the citizens? Do we have any control over our public servants, when the police who are supposed to protect us look the other way and instead protect the mass murderers and rapists? Do we have any control over our legal and judicial system, which has systematically denied us justice and allowed itself to be manipulated according to the political interests of the party in power?
It is our considered view that if the guilty were punished for the gruesome murders of more than 7000 Sikhs in 1984, and appropriate lessons learnt, the 2002 Gujarat riots, the killings of Christian s in Orissa, or the recent Assam massacre would not have occurred. Instead of punishment, the organizers of the pogrom were rewarded with Ministerial berths, the top officers of the police and public administration who actively connived in the genocide, as well as put roadblocks in the way of justice over these 28 years, have been rewarded with promotions and honors. In 2005 you had bowed your head in shame after looking at the Nanawati report and promised that strict action would be taken against the accused. Seven years have passed, but we see no such actions against the accused. Therefore, we the undersigned, call upon you to-
1. Ensure the punishment to the culprits, who are responsible for killing innocent citizens, and for this purpose reopen and reinvestigate all those cases which have been closed by the police or which have resulted in acquittal due to faulty investigation or non production of material witnesses.
2. These cases should be reinvestigated by a special investigation team to be constituted by officers from outside Delhi Police and the investigation should be
monitored by the Supreme Court.
3. The trials be conducted in fast track Courts and Supreme Court of India through a special team should monitor the proceedings.
4. Scope of investigation must be enlarged to cover all those states where Sikhs were killed in November 1984 but not reported.
5. A law dealing with communal and sectarian violence must be immediately enacted. It is a commentary on the state of our country that 65 years after our country was brutally partitioned accompanied by the biggest communal holocaust in the history of humankind, 28 years after the massacre of Sikhs in 1984, and 8 years since your government first accepted that such a law must be enacted, nothing has been done in this direction. It calls into question the sincerity of your government, regarding ending such massacres in the future.
6. People involved in the struggle to punish the guilty, including learned jurists, have formulated draft laws. They have demanded that the principle of command responsibility be included in the law. Those in positions of power and authority should be held accountable and guilty when they violate their duty and responsibility of providing safety and protection to the citizens.
Our demands reflect the conscience of the nation, of all justice loving people. We expect that you, as the Prime Minister of this country, will abide by your raj dharma and take the steps we have highlighted above, so that events such as those of November 1984 do not ever occur again.
List of signatories to the petition
1. Justice VR Krishna Iyer
2. T.S. Sankaran, Retd IAS
3. Justice Hosbet Suresh
4. Fali Nariman
5. Justice Ajit Singh Bains
6. Comrade Lal Singh, General Secretary, Communist Ghadar Party of India
7. Kuldip Nayyar
8. Justice Rajinder Sachar
9. S Raghavan, President, Lok Raj Sangathan
10. Shanti Bhushan, former Law Minister
11. Shonali Bose, film maker
12. Madhu Kishwar, Manushi
13. Prashant Bhushan, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court
14. Teesta Setalwad, Social activist
15. Prof Nandini Sundar, Head of Dept of Sociology, Delhi University
16. Geetha R, Associate Producer of "Amu" film
17. Shivanand Kanavi, Editor, Ghadar Jaari Hai
18. Rajvinder Singh Bains, Senior Advocate, Chandigarh
19. Sucharita, Secretary, Purogami Mahila Sangathan
20. A. Matthew, Secretary, Kamgaar Ekta Chalwal, Maharashtra
21. Dr Sanjeevani Jain, Associate Professor, V G Vaze College, Mumbai
22. Prof B Ananthanarayan, Indian Institute of Science, Bangaluru
23. Prakash Rao, Spokesperson, Communist Ghadar Party of India
24. Birju Nayak, Delhi Secretary, Lok Raj Sangathan
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