“They say it has been more than 30 years so forget the 1984 massacres, but how can I? Not one day goes by without me thinking about it”. – Bhaggi Kaur, survivor of 1984 Sikh massacres.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of one of independent India’s most shameful episodes. In November 1984, at least 3000 Sikh men, women and children were killed, mainly in Delhi, over the course of four days of killing and looting that followed the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Sikh men were dragged out of their homes by mobs and shot dead. Others were hacked to death, or doused with petrol and burned alive. Many Sikh women were raped. Commissions of inquiry reported that political leaders were involved in instigating perpetrators, and the police simply turned a blind eye to the carnage.
The massacres of 1984 were a national disgrace. And they were followed by another 30 years of impunity. Three decades after the massacres, only a tiny fraction of those responsible have been brought to justice. In many cases, investigations have not been completed even after 30 years. Thousands of victims and survivors continue to wait for justice and closure. The Delhi Police closed investigations into hundreds of cases after the massacres, citing lack of evidence. Only a handful of police personnel charged with neglecting their duty and offering protection to the attackers have been punished.
The victims and survivors of the 1984 massacres have a right to justice and remedy. And it is time this right was respected. It is time to demand that the Government of India reopens every one of the cases closed by the Delhi police; that an independent team reinvestigates the cases, and authorities bring to justice all those responsible for the massacres — whether they are political leaders, police or government officials. It is time to demand justice for 1984.
Amnesty International India is supporting the struggle for justice with this petition. The petition is accompanied by the encouraging and overwhelming buzz on Twitter where #Reinvestigate1984 has reached over 300K people. With a large number of influential personalities supporting the cause with their tweets, the demand for justice has reached far and wide, making more and more people aware about the issue.
In chilling cruelty, men were set ablaze, alive with burning tyres hung around their neck and left to die! The call for justice has reached over 300K people through these pictures which send a clear message. It time for you to join in the fight. Demand for justice and sign the petition here.