Indian PM apologizes for killing of Sikhs

By KUSHAL JEENA, Kushal Jeena  |  Aug. 12, 2005 at 1:30 AM
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NEW DELHI, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Bc-india-newstrack

Indian PM apologize for killings of Sikhs

By Kushal Jeena

New Delhi, Aug 12 (UPI): Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has apologized for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that killed 3,000 people in the aftermath of assassination of then Premier Indira Gandhi.

"I am not standing on any false promise and my head bows in shame," said Singh Thursday in the Upper House of Indian Parliament.

He assured that action would be taken against those named in the Nanavati Commission report. He said the assassination of Indira Gandhi was a great national tragedy.

"What happened subsequently was equally shameful," Singh said.

In his intervention to a debate on the report, Singh said on behalf of my government and entire people of the country, I bow my head in shame that such thing took place.

More than 3,000 innocent Sikhs were killed in communal violence that took place after then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was shot down by one of her Sikh bodyguard on October 31,1984, during the peak of terrorist activities in northern Indian state of Punjab. Militants had demanded separate Khalistan nation for Sikh community.

The Prime Minister said he had seen statements by opposition leaders that he should seek country's forgiveness. "I have no hesitation in apologizing to the Sikh community," he said. Singh said what took place in 1984 was a negation of concept of nationhood enshrined in the Constitution.

He said the government would reexamine within the ambit of law cases against individuals and police officials indicted by Nanavati Commission. The Commission was set up by previous government to probe 1984 killing of Sikhs.


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