NEW YORK, Sept 10 (APP): A federal court in New York has issued summons to Congress president Sonia Gandhi for shielding and protecting the leaders of her party who were allegedly involved in the anti-Sikh riots in India in 1984. The summons was issued by the US Eastern District Court of New York after a pro-Khalistani group – Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) – and two victims of the riots filed a complaint before it. SFJ legal counsel Gurpatwant Pannun said federal court Judge BrianCogan’s order further directs New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre security staff to give summons and complaint to Mrs. Gandhi, who is reported to be under medical care, or the security personnel assigned to her.
Pannun, the legal advisor of the SFJ, was cited as saying in press reports that the latest order should send a message to those who believe that they could evade service of US Court summons by virtue of their high political positions. Times have changed and this is a wake up call for Indian politicians that they cannot evade internationally accepted norms of justice. Unlike judicial system of India which failed to punish the Congress leaders involved in genocidal attacks on Sikhs in 1984, US judicial system does not protect any one because of their political positions, he said. “The order clears the air about the seriousness of the case as Congress leaders in India had been downplaying it by describing the suit as an inconsequential matter,” he added.
The complaint against Ms. Gandhi alleges that “from November 1 through November 4, 1984 approximately 30,000 members of a minority religious group known as the “Sikhs” were intentionally tortured, raped and murdered by groups thatwere incited, organized, controlled and armed by the Congress (I), the ruling political party”. Specifically, the SFJ and victims are seeking compensatory and punitive damages against Ms. Gandhi as president of the Congress party for her role in protecting Kamal Nath, Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler and other Congress party leaders from being prosecuted for their alleged crimes.