Memorandum: 29th Anniversary of Attack on Golden Temple

Sikhs mamoSikh organisations delivered a Memorandum to 10 Downing Street on 6 June 2013, on the 29th anniversary of the Indian army attack on the Golden Temple in Amritsar in June 1984 .

The Memorandum sought a reconsideration of UK foreign policy towards India in the light of India’s recent steps towards hanging Sikh prisoners Balwant Singh Rajoana and Professor Devinderpal Singh Bhullar. Characterising those moves as a dangerous escalation of the Indo-Sikh dispute and a breach of the de facto cease fire between the Sikhs and Indian forces which emerged in 1995, the document called for international action to secure the unconditional release of all Sikh prisoners held by India in the context of the 1984 – 1995 armed conflict. That armed conflict was a costly misadventure of the Indian state and now Sikh prisoners of war should be repatriated to their people, not executed.

The Memorandum sought UN intervention to allow Sikhs to secure self-determination in their homeland and called for an international criminal tribunal to be set up to punish those who had carried out genocide against the Sikhs during that traumatic period. It also called for a robust refusal of Indian demands for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council until India complies with basic standards of international humanitarian law. The Sikh organisations submitting the Memorandum included the Council of Khalistan, Akali Dal UK, Dal Khalsa and United Khalsa Dal.

Amrik Singh Sahota, OBE said it was ironic that the Indians who recently publicly pressed David Cameron for a formal apology for the 1919 Jalianwala Bagh episode were suffering selective  amnesia about their own much more recent war crimes which have led to hundreds of thousands being killed by state terrorism in Punjab and Kashmir. He said Sikh freedom in the shape of an independent sovereign state of Khalistan, along with freedom for the long suffering people of Kashmir, were the real agenda items for the troubled region.

Participants in a high profile vigil being held outside Downing Street over recent weeks, aimed at securing the release of Sikh prisoners in India, joined these Sikh organisations in condemning India’s warmongering and called for greater UK pressure on Indian authorities to immediately release all Sikh prisoners of war.

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