Sikh body writes to visiting UN chief to influence India to address contentious issues
By Prabh Singh
Published: April 25, 2012
Amritsar, Punjab (April 25, 2012): A Sikh body, the Dal Khalsa, has sent a fresh memo addressed to Mr Baan ki-moon urging the Secretary General of the United Nation to influence the so-called ‘world’s largest democracy’ to bring the culprits of November 1984 genocide to book and abolish capital punishment from the Indian laws.
The communiqué assumes significance as the UN chief is arriving in New Delhi today on his 4-day official visit. The memo has been sent to UN through the office of United Nations Information Centre, New Delhi.
As India nurtures the dream of becoming a world power by continuing to mock at international conventions and covenant, the role of UN has become more pressing in influencing the India to create a climate whereby the real aspirations of struggling people of Punjab, Kashmir and Nagaland are truly known and demonstrated, reads the memo signed by organizations head Harchranjit Singh Dhami.
While welcoming him to India, the letter pinned hope that he will take this opportunity to go beyond the Indian mainstream and delve into the status and plight of nations and peoples, like the Sikhs, who are struggling for justice and freedom.
Justifying their resolve to approach the UN, he said, “Sikhs are residing in India and India is a member of the United Nations. As India has failed to protect rights, human dignity, distinct identity of Sikhs, it is time for the parent body –United Nations to get involved”.
“All possible forums of redress available in India have been exhausted by the victim families, civil liberties organizations and human rights lawyers. The diplomatic corps of many countries have urged India to act in the interest of justice, but nothing has been done”.
The letter has also touched the cases pertaining to continued human rights violations by the security forces in Punjab. To drive their point home, the recent killing of Jaspal Singh was made the point of reference. Jaspal Singh- a Sikh by faith was shot dead in cold blood in Gurdaspur town on March 29 while he was part of a peaceful protest against the blasphemous activities of Hindutva organization ‘Shiv Sena’ backed by the BJP, a ruling partner in Punjab government.
The letter appreciated Ban Ki-moon’s appeal to all nations to build on the momentum towards disarmament to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
Kanwar Pal Singh quoted Mr Ban’s message to the conference on Disarmament in Geneva, in which he said “from conventional weapons and small arms to weapons of mass destruction, the risks are clear”.