They say it has been more than 30 years so forget the 1984 massacres, but how can I? Not one day goes by without me thinking about it. ——- Bhaggi Kaur, survivor of 1984 Sikh massacres.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of one of independent India’s most shameful episodes.
In November 1984, at least 3000 Sikh men, women and children were killed, mainly in Delhi, over the course of four days of killing and looting that followed the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Sikh men were dragged out of their homes by mobs and shot dead. Others were hacked to death, or doused with petrol and burned alive. Many Sikh women were raped. Commissions of inquiry reported that political leaders were involved in instigating perpetrators, and the police simply turned a blind eye to the carnage.
The massacres of 1984 were a national disgrace. And they were followed by another: 30 years of impunity.
Three decades after the massacres, only a tiny fraction of those responsible have been brought to justice. In many cases, investigations have not been completed even after 30 years. Thousands of victims and survivors continue to wait for justice and closure.
The Delhi Police closed investigations into hundreds of cases after the massacres, citing lack of evidence. Only a handful of police personnel charged with neglecting their duty and offering protection to the attackers have been punished.
The victims and survivors of the 1984 massacres have a right to justice and remedy. And it is time this right was respected.
* Demand that the Government of India reopens every one of the cases closed by the Delhi police.
* Demand that an independent team reinvestigates the cases, and authorities bring to justice all those responsible for the massacres – whether they are political leaders, police or government officials.
* Demand justice for 1984.