FOR ANY SIKH TO BE A VICTIM OF POLITICAL VENDETTA IN FREE INDIA IS THE BIGGEST VISIBLE PROOF OF INDIA DECOMPOSING AND DISINTEGRATING.
IT IS AMAZING THAT EVEN THE HINDUS HAVE NOT DECLARED PRIME MINISTER VAJPAYEE A "EUNUCH" IN AYODHYA.
Sikh riots victims appeal to US
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2003 03:16:44 PM
NEW DELHI: Widows of Sikh men killed during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots petitioned the US to help them get justice on Friday.
They claimed the Indian government had failed to provide justice to them.
Police officials escorted five of the widows to the US Embassy here, where they handed over a memorandum seeking Washington's intervention in efforts to book those responsible for the violence against Sikhs in 1984 following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh guards.
Earlier, police prevented some 50 members of the Widow Jatha, an organisation of the widows, from marching to the embassy.
"We're victims of state terrorism and we want the world to know this," said Widow Jatha chairperson Darshan Kaur.
"We've been denied justice for almost 20 years. Most people guilty of the killings have been let off the hook."
Though India talked about ending terrorism globally, the voice of its own people was being suppressed, said a Jatha member.
"We will fax and e-mail the memorandum to the White House," said the organisation's spokesman Gurcharan Singh Babbar.
Police stopped the widows, who began their march from Gurudwara Shri Rakab Ganj Sahib in the heart of Delhi, near Parliament.
Some 2,700 Sikhs died in the anti-Sikh violence targeting the community that broke out in New Delhi hours after Indira Gandhi was assassinated on October 31, 1984.
A government commission headed by retired judge G T Nanavati is currently probing the massacres. Prominent Congress party leaders have been implicated in the violence.
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government appointed the Nanavati Commission as it felt the previous inquiry, conducted in 1985-86, had allegedly played down the role of Congress leaders in the violence.
..........Wounds of '84 riots still fresh for them
TIMES NEWS NETWORK SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 01, 2003 02:09:13 AM
MOHALI: “I cannot put in words how I feel when I remember the days of terror we had spent locked in our house in Bhajanpura, Delhi , after Indira Gandhi was assassinated.
But when the entire nation mourns the death of the former prime minister, I remember my friends who were burnt alive on the roads with burning tyres around their necks just because they were Sikhs.
My blood boils when I think of those days,” said Preetam Singh, one of the victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots that followed the assassination of Indira Gandhi. Preetam and his wife Kashmir Kaur are one of around 300 families living in the LIG houses in Phase XI, Mohali, that were allotted to them by the Akali government.
Most of these families are yet to recover from the shock of 1984 riots and have still not settled down even though 19 years have passed since the carnage. Other residents of the colony are not as vocal as Preetam and his wife.
Manjeet Kaur, whose husband was killed in the riots, lives here with her two daughters and sons. She got a job as a peon in Mandi Board, but still remembers her house in Gurgaon that was burnt by the rioters. Some were fortunate to get government jobs, but for others, who had left their everything, life has been a struggle. Many are earning a living doing petty jobs such as selling vegetables, clothes, selling soup and other eatables on the roadside.
“We were promised jobs, shops and free houses by the government, but now we realise that it was all for our votes. For 19 years we have been used by the politicians. Even the houses that were allotted to us are not ours and we have been issued notices by the Puda to deposit the cost.
We feel cheated,” said Kashmir Kaur, one of the five women who had threatened self-immolation for the rights of the riot victims. “People tell us to forget our tragedy and start life anew, but we have seen so much carnage, suffered the loss of friends and family members at the hands of our own countrymen that it is impossible to forget it,” added Kashmir Kaur.