Declare Nov 1 as Genocide Day: Sikh Forum

The Sikh Forum on Thursday demanded the government declare November 1 as ‘Genocide Day’ in memory of those who died during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in the country following the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

During an event to commemorate the 34th anniversary of 1984 anti-Sikh pogroms here, the forum passed a resolution.

Senior advocate H.S. Phoolka, who took part in a panel discussion, said the forum wants the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhs, to ask all gurdwaras and Sikh institutions across the globe to treat November 1 as ‘Black Day’.

“We are going to write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to recognise November 1 as Genocide Day,” he said.

Phoolka said the guilty should have been punished, but instead they were rewarded.

“It is absolutely necessary that guilty must be punished. If guilty of the 1984 riots were punished, we would not have seen it (riots) in Gujarat later in 2002,” he said.

“We need to send a message that no one in the country is above law.”

Among the panelists were former Ambassador K.C. Singh, historian Uma Chakravarti, senior journalist Hartosh Singh Bal, feminist and publisher Urvashi Butalia and activist John Dayal.

Chakravarti said every year discussions were held on the issue but nothing changed.

“We do not want to take revenge. But we need institutional accountability. We need justice from court of law. No state is a legitimate state if justice is not given to its people,” she said.

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