India

India anti-Sikh riots: Australia petition to call it genocide

  • 2 November 2012
  • From the section India
Anti-Sikh riots in Delhi in 1984
Nearly 3,000 Sikhs were killed after the assassination of then PM Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh bodyguards in October 1984

A petition which seeks to recognise the 1984 anti-Sikh violence in India as "genocide" has been tabled in the Australian parliament.

The petition was moved by MP Warren Enstch on Thursday.

As long as the violence "continues to be referred to as 'anti-Sikh riots' there can be no closure for the Sikh community", he said in the petition.

Nearly 3,000 Sikhs were killed after the assassination of then PM Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh bodyguards.

The trigger for Mrs Gandhi's killing was the storming of the Golden Temple in Amritsar city four months earlier to flush out Sikh militants fighting for an independent homeland of Khalistan (Land of the Pure).

The petition, submitted by Mr Enstch, has been signed by 4,453 people.

It also called on the Australian government to urge India to take "all reasonable measures" to bring those responsible for the 1984 violence to justice.

A recent government inquiry found "credible evidence" that some leaders of Mrs Gandhi's Congress Party had incited crowds to attack Sikhs during the riots and that they were not spontaneous.

But 28 years after the riots, there have been no convictions in any of the cases.

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