OTTAWA, ON, June 1, 2019 – Sikh men, women and children from Ontario and Quebec gathered on Parliament Hill today to mark the 35th anniversary of Operation Blue Star, the Indian army’s assault on the Holiest Shrine of Sikhs, Sri Darbar Sahib also known as the Golden Temple. Over 26,000 Sikhs were killed during the army’s assault.
“True, north, strong and free, we pledge that we will never forget the 1984 Sikh victims,” said Sukhminder Singh Hansra, coordinator for the United Front of Sikhs (Canada) and senior member of the Shiromani Akali Dal Amritsar Canada East. “Future generations must never forget the genocide orchestrated by the Government of India.”
SIKH GENOCIDE DAY
In addition to today’s remembrance rally, the Sikh community of Canada is pursuing a ‘Private Members Bill’ to have the Canadian government establish a ‘Sikh Genocide Day.’ “The aim is to commemorate the 1984 Sikh victims on the first Saturday of June each year” said Hansra.
“Not only was the Government of India complicit in the killing of Sikhs in 1984, the political establishment is doing everything in its power to deny Sikhs the right to self-determination,” Amarjit Singh Mann, spokesman Ontario Gurdwaras Committee told the gathering. “We are targeting key Members of Parliament ahead of the upcoming federal election to support this bill and our cause.”
Avtar Singh Punia, a key organizer, echoed those sentiments, “It’s time for Canada to recognize the genocide perpetrated by the Government of India and pursue justice for the families – Canadian citizens – who escaped to live here.”
YOUTH INITIATIVE LENDS SUPPORT
For the first time ever a youth group from the Greater Toronto Area called OnePanth (One Nation) has joined this cause by holding a car rally.
“The car rally hopes to bring awareness to this cause. Over 100 cars took part in the Toronto to Ottawa drive,” said organizer Harpreet Singh Hansra.