Sikhs for Justice

Sikhs for Justice

October 28, 2011 09:00 ET

Sikhs Plan March on Canadian Parliament to Push for A Genocide Motion

November 1984 Led to the Murder of 30,000 Sikhs

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 28, 2011) - Sharing their stories of the violence and persecution inflicted upon them as a people, hundreds of Canadian Sikhs will voice their demands for justice outside Canada's Parliament on Tuesday, November 1st to mark the anniversary of the November 1984 genocide of Sikhs in India.

Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) a human rights advocacy group is spearheading the justice campaign for the victims of November 1984, pleading with Members of Parliament to take up their cause. The goal is to introduce a motion in Parliament to debate whether organized killing of Sikhs in India during November 1984 was "Genocide" as defined in Article 2 of the UN Convention on Genocide.

"The Sikh communities in Canada, the U.K., the U.S. and around the world fled India because there was a systematic campaign of killing and persecution organized against them," explains Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a legal advisor to SFJ. "People attending the rally next Tuesday saw their fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters killed in the streets or rounded up never to be seen again. The emotional impact extends to the children too, the next generation who refuses to let this genocide be forgotten.

"We've been fortunate that many recently elected Conservative members of parliament have been receptive to our concerns and established an open line of communication with us. We invite members of all political stripes to show their support at the justice rally."

Over the past few months, there have been startling discoveries of new evidence relating to the events of November 1984, which clearly show that Sikhs, a religious minority, were intentionally, deliberately and systematically attacked and killed.

The newly discovered evidence consists of:

  • Mass grave of Sikhs in Delhi discovered after 26 years
  • Gurudwara ruins in Delhi that were attacked and destroyed
  • Mass grave of Sikhs at village Hondh-Chillar in State of Haryana
  • Mass cremation site in Pataudi and Gurgaon in the State of Haryana
  • Ruined Sikh houses and Gurudwaras in State of West Bengal.

In addition to the march, Canadian Sikhs have launched a signature campaign to press on the newly elected Parliament to stand with the victims of November 1984 by conducting a debate on the issue of Sikh Genocide. SFJ aims to collect 100,000 signatures in support of the community's demand to bring forward a Genocide Motion in Parliament. More than 10,000 signatures have already been collected since launching of the campaign.

In June 2010, a petition sponsored by former MPs Sukh Dhaliwal and Andrew Kania asking the Canadian government to recognize the Sikh Massacre of November 1984 as "Genocide" was presented in Parliament. However, the government responded that there wasn't sufficient evidence to determine that the killings amounted to genocide. Sikhs for Justice plans to bring the newly discovered evidence forward to members of parliament.

"We're feeling very encouraged because during the last federal election, many Conservative candidates indicated that they would bring our concerns forward," said Jatinder Singh Grewal, SFJ Youth Coordinator. "Immigration Minister Jason Kenney was among the leaders who said they would support the victims of November 1984 in seeking justice. Now is the time for politicians to live up to their promises and take the next step by sponsoring a motion to recognize the Sikh Genocide in Parliament.

"We will not give up and we will never forget the victims of November 1984."

The Ontario Gurudwara Committee and Ontario Sikhs Gurudwara Council are providing logistical support for the rally. This effort is also endorsed by Canadian Gurudwaras across the country.

Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) a human rights organization, believes and adheres to Universal Declaration of Human Rights. SFJ endeavors to create an environment in which minorities - regardless of race, religion, language, gender, or ethnicity – can freely exercise their right to "self determination" as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. SFJ is also striving to collect and disseminate information, statistics, figures and data regarding the Genocide of Sikhs (1984-1998) that took place in India with particular emphasis on the genocidal events of November 1984.

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