Once again the first week of November is here with awakening of the horrible memories of Sikh riots in 1984. Approximately 3000 Sikh men, women and children were burnt alive or hacked to death. Sikh businesses, homes and transportation were looted and burnt to ashes and many Sikh women raped and molested. Riots were sparked after the assassination of that time Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi.
It is ironic to see such an inhuman and planned genocide happening in the Capital city of the Worlds largest democracy. This was the largest carnage in the history of independent India. From November 1st, 1984 to November 4th the roads of Delhi, Kanpur and other cities of India became the feasting place for looters and mobs while the police either looked the other way or helped the mob by unarming the Sikhs; who armed themselves and started gathering to better protect themselves.
Politicians and administration waited patiently until the unleashed mob completed the assigned task. The hatred toward Sikhs spilled all over the country and the masked face of Congress (I) came in light when Rajiv Gandhi, was quoted saying: “Some riots took place in the country following the murder of Indira Ji. We know the people were very angry and for a few days it seemed that India had been shaken. But, when a mighty tree falls, it is only natural that the earth around it does shake a little”.
The involvement of politician in 1984 riots came out in light when two human rights organizations, People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) and People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), published a joint report under the heading, who are guilty?
The joint report named some Congress (I) workers who were already been identified by victims and witnesses as leaders or organizers of the riots. No action was taken against identified people. Later the commission headed by Supreme Court judge, Ranganath Misra, implicated allegations that the administration collapsed while killings, looting and raping of Sikhs was taking place. The commission also suggested that the pattern of events indicate that the riots were organized and there was an unexplained delay in imposing curfew and calling in the army.
So far no justice have been served. Government was prompt and firm in ordering an inquiry into Indira Gandhi’s assassination but it took them six months to start an inquiry which was being demanded by public, Sikh bodies, and human right groups repeatedly.
After 25 years the few charged with the violence related charges were let go free on basis of “not enough evidence”.