Tag Archives: sikh genocide

NCM asks why delay in compensation to 1984 Sikh riot victims? Pulls up state governments

Those of us who are a generation older and may have been in school in 1984, cannot forget the dark days that India witnessed after the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi being assassinated by her own guards. Immediately, after her death was announced, innocent Sikhs were targeted. Their houses, offices, shops were vandalised. Even mob that was allegedly churned by some political vested interests had put people from Sikh community on flame alive. Even women were not spared. History can never forget the darkest days of 1984. In Delhi, mayhem continued for three nights, as troops were called in after three days.

The alleged masterminds of the 1984 genocide, three accused – HKL Bhagat, Jagdish Tytler, and Sajjan Kumar had allegedly fanned the hatred among the mob. However, its a pity that Congress did nothing to punish them. HKL Bhagat is no more but the other two are freely roaming around. In fact, Sajjan Kumar enjoys security cover. The Sikh community has been demanding a reply over the years.

In order to sort the issue of Sikh community, a number of relief packages were announced by the Government of India and the State Governments respectively, there are several instances where the relief measures announced have not reached the families, despite 38 years having elapsed since 31st October 1984.

The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has taken cognizance of the matter after a delegation of Sikhs met the NCW Chairperson, Iqbal Singh Lalpura. The NCW had taken up the matter with 9 States/UT viz; J&K, Odisha, Jharkhand, Uttrakhand, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar, West Bengal, and sought the following Information.

(a) List of cases registered.

(b) Number of persons convicted.

(c) Parents status/remarks.

(d) Numbers of person killed/Injured.

(e) Details of property damaged.

(f) Award of compensation to the victims: when was the compensation awarded? What kind of compensation was awarded and to how many affected persons?

(g) List of the affected families for whom job for one member of the family was announced, numbers of families to whom the job to any member of the family has not yet been given and the reasons thereof. Detail of Enquiry Committee/Commission constituted in each state may also be provided.

(h) There were allegations that police officials were also involved in the riots. The following details of officials against whom action was taken and officials against whom action is yet to be initiated may be provided.

(i) How many criminal/civil cases were registered against police persons in this regard?

(ii) How many police persons were convicted and acquitted?

(iii) How many cases are still pending?

The Chairman NCM has written letters to Chief Ministers of the above mentioned States vide letters dated 27.10.2021, 30.06.2022 & 07.10.2022.

Indira Gandhi’s assassination triggered Sikh genocide – Down Memory Lane

On October 31st in 1984 then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her own bodyguards inside her bungalow at 1, Safdarjung Road. New Delhi. Prime Minister was on her way to give an interview to a popular international television channel when her bodyguards opened fire on her. Gandhi fell on the ground. She was then rushed to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) by her daughter-in-law Sonia Gandhi along with other Congress members. Her husband Rajiv Gandhi was away on an election campaigning trail. Both Rahul and Priyanka were too young then. Entire country was stunned to hear the news of assassination.

At 6PM on Doordarshan news (only Doordarshan exited then), the announcer declared her dead and with that official state mourning was announced. Many opined that in real Gandhi had succumbed to the bullets in the morning itself but due to some political reasons (her son Rajiv Gandhi too was away) it was announced late in the evening.

The next part was really very sad as minutes after declaring Prime Minister dead, riots had broke out across the country. While some parts were worst affected. In Delhi, the genocide had continued for three days. The troops were called in on the third day when they staged a flag march and took the situation in their control. Three Congress members and close confidant to the Gandhis – HKL Bhagat (also called the architect of East Delhi), Jagdish Tytler or JD Tytler, and Sajjan Kumar were accused of fanning the riots.

Congress had refuted all the allegations calling it as an emotional outbreak of the people who loved their beloved Prime Minister. It was during this time a controversial statement by Rajiv Gandhi surfaced – “When big tree falls, earth shakes”. later Rajiv Gandhi had give explanation, and he said he never meant the words and he too condemns the riots. However, till date nothing has been done against the three accused.

The 1984 Sikh Riots or Sikh Genocide as its called saw the killing of over 2,800 Sikhs in Delhi itself, and over 3,350 across the country. This day on one hand is a solemn day for the Congress as it lost Indira Gandhi and on the other its a black day as so many Sikhs became victim to the genocide.

However, Congress did nothing to open this case and punish the accused inspite of being in power after this ghastly killings.