July 12, 2010 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Ludhiana (June 29, 2010): As per a newsletter sent by Sikhs for Justice, this human rights advocacy group which is striving to get justice to the victims of 1984 Sikh Genocide challenged the PM Singh’s claim that “there are visible weaknesses in Indian judicial system”.
Gurpatwant S Pannun, Legal Advisor Sikhs For Justice stated that Indian judiciary’s inability is selective and it only fails to deliver justice in cases involving massacre of minorities.
According to attorney Pannun, when it comes to prosecute the killers of minorities like Christian massacre of 2008, Muslim massacre of 1992 & 2002, and Sikhs massacre of 1984, the Indian government uses the lame excuse of weakness in judicial system.
This becomes clear when the prosecution of minorities’ massacre is compared with other serious cases such as killing of Indira Gandhi, Indian Parliament attack of 1999 or Mumbai Massacre of 2008. In all these cases, the same so called weak judicial system of India delivered justice in matter of few years.
According to the attorney Pannun, the real reason is not the inability of judicial system but the unwillingness of Indian political establishment to prosecute the killers of minorities and impunity given to the killers because they are members of one or the other political party.
PM Singh’s also announced that his government will compensate the victims of November 1984 and therefore they should not look back move forward. Responding to this, attorney Pannun stated that PM Singh has become devil’s advocate because its exactly the statements like this that promote the culture of impunity, that encourages and ensures the criminals that if they attack weak and minority community they will not face justice and its discourages the victims from ever seeking justice and instead be content with “compensation”. Quoting Saint Augustine’s saying “charity is no substitute for justice withheld”, attorney Pannun further stated that PM Singh’s suggestion to victims “take compensation and forget about justice” is also immoral and against teachings of all religions.
According to Attorney if PM Singh has any heart for the victims of November 1984, he could still take action as head of Indian Government that would facilitate justice. According to attorney Pannun, the following demands of the Sikhs are within PM Singh’s power and do not need any judicial action and if serious to his words, PM Singh could:
• Recognize November 1984 massacre of Sikhs as “genocide” of Sikhs as per article 2 of UN convention on genocide-1948 which is binding on India through its signature and ratification.
• Set up a commission to conduct a nation-wide inquiry to determine the exact number of Sikhs killed all over India in November 1984 and to investigate the organized campaign for the killing of Sikhs in November 1984.
• Allow international human rights groups to enter and work in Punjab. This will ensure transparency and will cement India’s reputation around the world as a human rights respecting country.
• Set up a commission to investigate and recommend prosecution of security personnel involved in decade long killing of Sikhs and human rights abuses in Punjab.
• Present a constitutional amendment before the parliament of India to recognize Sikhism as a separate religion.
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