Tuesday Jan 11, 2022
The Senate of New Jersey has unanimously passed a resolution to condemn the Sikh massacre in India that took place in 1984 and called it a "genocide."
According to a report by Kashmir Media Service, the resolution will be presented to US President Joe Biden as well as Vice-President Kamala Harris.
The resolution will also be forwarded to the majority and minority leaders of the United States Senate, the speaker and minority leader of the United States House of Representatives, and every member of Congress elected from this State, the report said.
The resolution has been sponsored by Senator Stephen M Sweeney, and according to it, the Sikh community of India, which is predominately concentrated in the country's Punjab province, began immigrating to the United States over 100 years ago. It said the Sikh community has "played an important role in developing the United States and New Jersey."
"The Sikh genocide began on November 1, 1984, after the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in New Delhi and the states of Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa, Jammu and Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Maharashtra," the report said.
As per the resolution, "Sikhism is the world’s fifth-largest religion with nearly 309 million adherents, including roughly 1,000,000 in the United States."
It said the "genocide lasted three days and over 30,000 Sikhs were brutally murdered as they were hunted in their homes, where they were hacked and burned alive", per the report.
The report further added that on April 16, 2015, a resolution was also passed by the California State Assembly recognising the "systematic and organised killings of Sikhs by the Indian government and remembered those who lost their lives during the 1984 Sikh genocide."
Akin to that, on October 17, 2018, Pennsylvania's General Assembly of the Commonwealth also unanimously passed House Resolution HR-1160 in which it was declared that the November 1984 anti-Sikh violence in India was, indeed, "genocide."
According to the Kashmir Media Service report, Indian citizens, including rights activists, journalists, as well as eyewitnesses, have testified through evidence that the Indian government, and officials of the country's law enforcement department, have "organised, participated in, and failed to intervene to prevent the killings through direct and indirect means."
Citing an example from the year 2011, the report said that several mass graves were found in the Indian villages of Hondh Chillar and Pataudi in Haryana, but both the Indian government and the law enforcement agencies flouted impunity.
The report said that thousands of Sikh women were raped and were forced to witness the hacking, burning, and murder of the men in their families, adding that residents of houses in “Widow Colony,” and the Tilak Vihar neighbourhood in New Delhi, are eyewitnesses to the genocide.
It said that the women inhabiting those houses are still asking for justice to be served.
The report said that members of the Sikh community who survived the genocide immigrated to the United States where they established large Sikh communities in several cities, including Fresno, Yuba City, Stockton, Fremont, Glenrock, Pine Hill, Carteret, New York City, and Philadelphia among other places.
"The Sikh community in the United States and New Jersey has recovered from the material damages of the genocide as they continue to keep the memory of those who were killed alive and will never forget the Sikh genocide," it said.