November 1984: The culprits are still roaming free

After the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 31 Oct 1984, a few thousand Sikh men, women and children were slaughtered by violent mobs. Survivors have yet to get justice. We share some of their heart rendering stories, courtesy of 'Chauraasi Ki Nainsaafi: The continuing injustice for the 1984 Sikh massacre' a 2017 briefing released by Amnesty International India

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Bhagi Kaur – Photo: Karan Sharma; Courtesy of Chauraasi Ki Nainsaafi: The continuing injustice for the 1984 Sikh massacre (Amnesty International India briefing released in 2017)

BHAGI KAUR

Migrated from Trilokpuri to Tilak Vihar (Delhi). Her husband and seven relatives were killed in 1984.

“To everyone else, the massacre took place 32 years ago, but for me it just feels like it all happened yesterday. Almost my entire family was wiped out in front of my eyes, and even after so many years we haven’t got any justice.

“The culprits are still roaming free. We are still fighting the consequences of what happened. My life is almost over, but my kids are facing hardships that they don’t deserve. The only hope I have is that maybe my grandchildren will one day see happiness.”

– Source: Chauraasi Ki Nainsaafi: The continuing injustice for the 1984 Sikh massacre (Amnesty International India briefing released in 2017)

Cover page of Chauraasi Ki Nainsaafi: The continuing injustice for the 1984 Sikh massacre

From 31 October to 3 November 1984, over 3,000 Sikh men, women and children were slaughtered by violent mobs, following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Sikh men had their necks ringed with tyres which were set on fire, while others were shot or hacked to death; women were raped and assaulted. Eyewitnesses told official commissions of inquiry that police personnel did nothing to prevent the killings; and some actively participated in the massacre. Several witnesses reported seeing members of the ruling Congress party instigating mobs and taking part in the attacks.

A government-appointed judicial commission described the killings as “organized carnage”.

The massacre of 1984 was a national shame, and it was followed by another: over three decades of impunity for perpetrators of these crimes.

Survivors reported that the police refused to register complaints in many cases, and in others they registered vague ‘omnibus FIRs’ covering all the offences in a neighborhood. In Delhi, 587 First Information Reports (FIRs) related to the massacre were registered, of which the Delhi police closed 247 as ‘untraced’, meaning that they had been unable to trace any evidence. Over 33 years later, only a handful of police personnel charged with neglecting their duty and protecting the attackers have been punished.

The agony of the survivors of the 1984 massacre have not ended. Their children continue to live with the pain and injustice that followed the violence.

This photo digest presents a glimpse into the lives of these forgotten people. The screams of the victims still echo in the narrow lanes of neighbourhoods where thousands were butchered. It is time for India to ensure that the injustice for massacre of 1984 does not remain a festering sore.

– Source: Chauraasi Ki Nainsaafi: The continuing injustice for the 1984 Sikh massacre (Amnesty International India briefing released in 2017)

 

RELATED STORY:

India’s moral cancer- Delhi’s November 1984 Sikh genocide (Asia Samachar, 2 Nov 2019)

 

ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs / Punjabis in Southeast Asia and beyond. Facebook | WhatsApp +6017-335-1399 | Email: editor@asiasamachar.com | Twitter | Instagram | Obituary announcements, click here |

1 COMMENT

  1. When designated Authorities fail to act then individuals may have the moral right to take direct action as one should stop complaining to those who may have been involved may be protected by those to whom one is asking for justice.

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