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Sikh group submits petition on 1984 riots to Obama government

December 20, 2012 22:33 IST

A Sikh rights group in New York has submitted a petition to the Barack Obama administration seeking that the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in India be recognised as a 'genocide'.

The Sikh Genocide Petition with 46,000 signatures, including 29,000 online, is the first petition of its kind to be submitted to the administration on the 1984 riots, in which a large number of Sikhs were killed, Sikh for Justice said in a statement.

The group said it would gather outside the Capitol Hill in Washington in February next year during the Constituent Work Week of the House of Representative to lobby in support of the petition.

The rights group is hoping that the United States Department of State's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour would respond to the petition.

Headed by Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner, the bureau deals with issues related to international human rights violations and crimes against humanity.

SFJ has also submitted a 300-page 1984 Yes it is Genocide report to Posner which includes information about the 1984 riots and the violence that ensued following the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi.

Referring to the Article 1 and 2 of the United Nations Convention on Genocide, SFJ's legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said the US is under obligation to recognise the 1984 riots as genocide.

Petitions have also been filed with the Parliaments of Canada, Australia and United Kingdom, Pannun said.

Yoshita Singh
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