Denied Justice is Indian Justice: Marking 25 years of the anti-Sikh massacre, complete & peaceful shutdown in Punjab
Published: November 6, 2009
Ludhiana (November 06, 2009): To wake up the deaf and dumb Indian state from its stupor, the entire Punjab came to standstill on 03 November, 2009 for few hours to express its anguish against the denial of justice to victims, to give verdict against the politics of genocide and to pay homage to thousands of innocent Sikhs killed during the Nov 1984 carnage.
25 years after Delhi’s roads lay strewn with half-burnt, mutilated bodies of thousands of Sikhs and a community’s faith in the Indian Political Establishment lay completely shattered, justice eludes the Sikhs.
Marking 25 years of the anti-Sikh massacre following the assassination of then PM Indira Gandhi, the people of Punjab observed complete shutdown in the state on Nov 3 (Tuesday) to protest against the denial of justice to the aggrieved Sikhs.
With a complete Bandh (shutdown) in Punjab without any threat of violence, the Sikh community also told India’s entrenched brahamanical power centers that they haven’t forgiven the perpetrators, and they shall not. 1984 Genocide still awaits closure, and that closure can only come via justice.
Trains stopped in their tracks, buses went off the roads, shops downed shutters, the industrial areas were quite and the silence of grief prevailed all over as normal life came to complete halt in all of Punjab at the Punjab Bandh call given by Sikh organizations led by Dal Khalsa and the Khalsa Action Committee.
The shutdown call had a full backing of other factions like Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, Shiromani Akali Dal (Panch Pardani), Sikh Youth of Punjab and various factions of Sikh Students Federation.
The activists of Dal Khalsa, KAC and some other groups including Sikh Youth Federation (Bhindranwale) blocked the tracks, blocking the movement of many trains including the Shatabdi Express, Sachkhand Express, Paschmi Express, Super Fast, Dadar, Kathiar Express and Tata Mouri.
A number of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir bound trains were being terminated at Ambala and other stations in Haryana.
Activists of Sikh groups also did not allow any Punjab Roadways bus to move out from the main bus stands of all cities. All business establishments, shops, industrial units, banks and educational institutions remained closed. However, private vehicles and emergency services were exempted from the bandh.
Bhai Mohkam Singh, H S Dhami and Harpal Singh Cheema sat at a Rajpura rail crossing to block the rail traffic to Punjab from New Delhi. On the other side, the members of Dal Khalsa, Sikh Youth Federation and Shaheed Dharam Singh Khalsa trust led by Kanwarpal Singh, Dr Gurjinder Singh and Sandeep Kaur blocked the tracks at Amritsar railway crossing forcing the railway authorities to cancel Shatabdi Express and other trains.
Sikh youth marched on the streets of Amritsar city crying for justice. They shouted slogans like “Death of Indian Secularism”, Indian Democracy –a Fraud” and India- a place where minorities are butchered”. The protestors demanded UN to probe Nov 1984 carnage.
The situation turned tense in the Phase-V market of Mohali around 10.30 am when police personnel started checking the vehicles of protesters, who were taking a round of the markets to ensure a complete bandh.
Strongly opposing the police action, Akali Dal Panch Pardhani general secretary Sandeep Singh Canadian and former head of Akal Federation Kanwar Singh Dhami offered SP (City) Sukhwant Singh Gill to arrest them instead of what they termed as “harassing” their activists who were holding peaceful protest.
The police in Patiala resorted to cheap tactics of highhandedness by unnecessary harassing University students including SSF president Parmjit Singh Gazi and Makhan Singh Gandhuan. The police took Gazi and Makhan Singh to police station and kept him in illegal custody till late evening.
At Ludhiana, members of various groups led by AISSF (Mehta) president Parmjit Singh Khalsa and Dal Khalsa secretary Sarbjit Singh Ghuman brought the road traffic of the entire city to standstill. Government and private buses were off the road in Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr where protestors were led by Dr Manjinder Singh of Dal Khalsa and Prabhjot Singh of Sikh Youth of Punjab.
Damdami Taksal head Baba Harnam Singh along with his supporters marched through the lanes of Anandpur Sahib town to ensure complete bandh.
In Jalandhar, both rail and road traffic was blocked by protestors led by Akali veteran leader Kuldeep Singh Wadala, Jagjit Singh Gaba and Gurpreet Singh Mann.
Certainly, the overwhelming response to bandh call is people’s verdict against the politics of genocide started by the Congress 25 years back, remarked party president H S Dhami. “Twenty-five years have passed but the country’s justice system has failed to bring the perpetrators to book, he said”.