ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Justice Not Compensation

The Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) condemns the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government for reducing the quest for justice of the victims of the anti-Sikh carnage of 1984 into a cruel joke by engaging in competition for paying higher blood money to them. On the 30th year of the 1984 Sikh carnage, the Union Minister for Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh, announced that compensation to families of the victims killed was to be enhanced from the existing Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. This cash enhancement has been announced under the Union Government Scheme for Assistance to Civilian Victims of Terrorist, Communal and Naxal Violence, which was announced by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in 2008. Under this scheme, compensation is paid to the families of the victims who are killed or permanently incapacitated.

Both the UPA and NDA governments have remained mute on the question of punitive actions against the perpetrators of the crime who conspired and participated in the massacres of Sikhs in independent India, after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on 31 October 1984. The involvement of political leaders and the role and support of the then Congress government in the 1984 massacre of Sikhs in Delhi, Kanpur, Bokaro and other places has been referred to in many reports. A joint report by PUDR and the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Who Are the Guilty?, released in the second week of November 1984, had clearly listed the names of the leaders and the parties involved, based on testimonies given by the victims of this pogrom. Various commissions and inquiry committees, which were set up subsequently under public pressure in the last 30 years, have substantiated our findings. Thereafter, First Information Reports (FIRs) were filed by victims and cases were initiated. A Right to Information query revealed that only 255 cases were registered pertaining to 326 killed, in which 622 persons were arrested. Only 27 persons in seven cases were convicted whereas 591 persons in 121 cases were acquitted. Not only was the number of those who were killed 10 times more than what the cases registered showed, but the number of perpetrators too ran into thousands. Investigation of the alleged involvement of the Delhi police and political leaders has merely skimmed the surface.

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