Sikh body seeks impartial probe into Chattisinghpora massacre
Pitch For Minority Status As Per NCMA
Srinagar, Aug 17: Criticizing the state government for failing to provide minority status to Sikhs in Jammu and Kashmir, the All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) Friday demanded a fresh and impartial probe into the Chattisinghpora incident.
Addressing a twp-day national level Sikh Conference here, the committee members termed the JK Government’s silence over the Chattisinghpora massacre as “criminal” and alleged that they are being neglected by both the Centre and the state governments.
“The investigating agencies have established Pathribal encounter as fake. Since Chattisinghpora and Pathribal cases are inter-connected, the State Government should order a fresh and impartial probe into the massacre,” the APSCC Chairman, Jagmohan Singh Raina, said.
35 Sikhs including children were killed in Chattisinghpora village in south Kashmir’s Islamabad district by unidentified gunmen, dressed in army fatigues, on the evening of March 20, 2000. The incident took place on the eve of the then US President, Bill Clinton's, visit to India. Five days after the massacre, Army killed seven men in Pathribal village of Islamabad, claiming the deceased were the "foreign militants" responsible for the massacre.
However, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which was investigating the case, concluded that the Pathribal encounter was fake and the seven persons killed were civilians. Later it submitted its report to the Supreme Court.
The conference that began today is expected to be attended by prominent Sikh leaders, intellectuals and members of Parliament including BJP MP, Navjot Singh Sidhu.
“We have time and again put forward our genuine demands in front of the state and centre government. But both the governments have turned a blind eye towards our plight. Now we are left with no other option but to have peaceful demonstrations and seminars to make the leaders aware about our issues,” Raina said.
Raina claimed that the economic condition of the Sikh community all over the state was pathetic and government had no concrete plan for the progress and development of the Sikh community.
He said owing to the discrimination from the government the Sikhs have started slow migration to outside the state. “Earlier more than 60 percent of the Sikh population lived in villages. Most of them have now migrated to urban areas adversely affecting their overall economic condition,” he said adding that authorities were totally unconcerned about their apathy.
President Sikh Student Federation, Karnail Singh Peer Muhammad said, “The killing of Sikhs as mistaken-identities cannot be tolerated as they implies to genocide of minority community.”
Akali Dal leader, Joginder Singh Shaan said: “We have faced and are still facing many hardships due to the ongoing turmoil. But still we chose to stay in Kashmir Valley. The state and central government have failed to resolve any of our legitimate demands.”
Other prominent leaders and speakers who addressed the gathering at the first day were Harcharan Singh Khalsa, Secretary Shromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, Dilmag Singh, K.S Bedi, Jasbir Singh Azad (AISSF), Harjeet Singh Sweety, Jagdev Singh, D.D Singh, Daleep Singh Deepak and others.
The members passed a resolution demanding solution to all the issues including Employment Packages, minority status, issuance of backward and state subject certificates, filling of Punjabi posts, compensation for agriculture and horticulture losses and fresh probe for Chattisinghpora massacre from the J&K government.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 17 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 17 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 18 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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