NEW YORK—A petition being moved to the Obama administration for recognizing the November 1984 massacre of Sikhs in Delhi and other parts of the country as “genocide” has already been signed by almost 11,000 persons.
Initiated on November 15 by various human rights organizations, including Sikhs for Justice, the petition argues that the intentional and deliberate nature of the attacks on Sikhs as well as their properties and places of worship in November 1984 categorizes them as genocide, as defined in 18 USC 1091 and as per Article 2 of the U.N. Convention on Genocide.
Almost half the required signatures had already been received as of November 27, less than two weeks from the date it had been published. SFJ Legal Advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said that the petition requires 25,000 signatures by December 15 in order to be addressed by the Obama administration. Rights activists are optimistic that the petition may be able to gather more than the stipulated signatures.
“During November 1984 the Congress Party of India organized and perpetrated violence with intent to destroy the Sikh community, resulting in more than 30,000 killed; women raped; Gurdwaras burnt and more than 300,000 displaced. The systematic violence against Sikhs was concealed and portrayed by the Indian governments as Anti-Sikh Pogroms,” the petition has argued.
“In 2011-12 mass graves of Sikhs killed during November 1984 were discovered throughout India, which is the most specific and convincing evidence that violence against Sikhs in 1984 was genocide.”