Sikhs stage anti India demonstration outside UN Headquarters in New York

Sikhs stage anti India demonstration outside UN Headquarters in New York
Hundreds of Sikhs staged a demonstration outside UN Headquarters in New York on Tuesday to mark to mark the 33rd anniversary of the Indian military attack on Golden Temple in Amritsar.

As the protest proceeded on a rainy day, the “Sikhs For Justice” (SFJ), an advocacy group, submitted a memorandum to UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour urging him to set up a tribunal to investigate India’s crimes against the Sikh community during the 6th June 1984 military Operation BlueStar.

According to the memorandum, the operation “clearly violated the basic humanitarian law provisions for protection of the civilian populations and for the protection of cultural objects and places of worship,” and constituted an act of aggression.

Holding placards “Indian Tanks Razed Sikh Vatican”, activists from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut raised slogans in favour of a referendum for independence of Punjab to create “Khalistan.”

Elaborating the demand for a UN Tribunal, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the legal advisor to SFJ, said the Indian military’s Operation BlueStar against Sikh pilgrims amounted to a war crime.
“The UN has the authority to set up a Tribunal to investigate grave human rights violations committed by member countries against their own civilians during military operations” Pannun added.

Tuesday’s gathering billed as “Punjab Independence Rally” was organized by Gurdwara Sikh Cultural Society, Richmond Hills, New York, “Shiromani Akali Dal” (Amritsar), Sikh Youth of America, Sikhs For Justice with the support of East Coast Coordination Committee.

The memorandum submitted to the UN said, “With regard to Operation Blue Star, the undisputed facts are: it was a military action launched by the Indian State against Sikh separatists; was carried out to punish the Sikh separatists led by Bhindranwale who were demanding the right to self determination in Punjab; was carried out in a religious place, the most sacred shrine of the Sikhism; several thousand civilians including women and children were summarily executed by the attacking Indian military and several thousand civilians including children aged 2 to 12 were also taken prisoners by the Indian Army.
 Thus, the evidence overwhelmingly proves that India blatantly violated the above listed UN treaties during Operation Blue Star.”