I am writing to urge you to join me in sending the attached letter to the Ambassador to the United States from India, regarding reports of human rights violations against India’s minority Sikh population.
I commend Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi for his forceful and eloquent statements, deploring the recent violence committed against the Sikhs, and applaud his historic decision to establish a government panel to explore peaceful ways of resolving the separatist crisis in the State of Punjab.
However, reports of the violence carried in the Western press recount with chilling details tales of horror and destruction committed against the Sikh religious minority population, in the aftermath of the tragic slaying of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. They also have raised a number of troubling concerns. As a result, I am encouraging the Indian Government to establish an independent board of inquiry, comprised of both Hindu and Sikh representatives, to answer these questions.
To what extent were the Indian police negligent in preventing the violence, and what was their role, if any, in promoting it? Is there any validity to the claims made by many Sikhs, including former Foreign Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee that members of the Congress (I) Party may have incited the riots, and then interfered with subsequent investigations? And to what extent has the current government been successful in bringing all those guilty of these atrocities to justice?
If you wish to join me in sending the attached letter to the Indian Ambassador, please contact Spencer Weisbroth or Gail Sokoloff in my office, at ext. 55956, by March 4, 1985.
Robert J. Mrazek
Member of Congress
Article extracted from this publication >> April 5, 1985