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Sikhs Demand Visa Denial for Kamal Nath

March 12, 2010 | By

Toronoto (March 12, 2010): Canadian Sikhs denounce the upcoming visit to Canada of Kamal Nath, a Cabinet Minister in the government of India. Nath was invited to speak to the Canada-India Business Council in Toronto later this month.

The Canadian Sikh community is deeply saddened that Nath, who participated in the November 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom in India, will be allowed to enter Canada. Nath, who was then an MP, allegedly led a violent mob of 4,000 Hindus which destroyed Gurdwara Rakab Ganj in New Delhi. Despite eyewitness testimony that Nath “was controlling the crowd,” he was never indicted for his role in the three day pogrom during which at least 3,000 Sikh men, women and children were brutally murdered.

Moninder Singh, spokesperson for CSC, said: “There is conclusive evidence that Kamal Nath oversaw rioters during their savage and destructive attacks on Gurdwara Rakab Ganj. He issued directions to a crowd with blood on their hands, who fulfilled his violent orders as the lifeless bodies of innocent Sikhs lay abandoned and burning in the road. Canada is a nation which treasures human rights and should explicitly forbid entry by people like Nath.”

Sikh community organizations have also protested visits by Kamal Nath to the United States, including his 2008 speech at Northwestern University in Illinois. Some Western nations, including the U.S. and Britain, have denied visas to other Indian politicians guilty of crimes against humanity. Notably, in October 2009, British authorities denied a visa for former Indian Cabinet Minister Jagdish Tytler, who organized bloodthirsty crowds to exterminate Sikhs in 1984.

Tens of thousands of Sikhs have fled persecution in India to find freedom in Canada. Sikhs implore their government to adopt a more attentive approach to reviewing future high-profile Indian visa requests. Canada has always served as a beacon of human rights, yet allowing politicians like Nath into the country implies tolerance of his crimes. The Canadian government should revoke his visa and take steps to ensure that other perpetrators of egregious human rights violations are always banned from crossing Canadian borders.

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