New Jersey Senate Condemns 1984 Sikh Genocide in New Resolution

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The New Jersey Senate passed a resolution officially acknowledging and condemning the 1984 massacre against Sikhs in India as genocide as well as the subsequent migration of Sikhs from India to the United States.

Resolution 142 was introduced on January 7 by Senator Stephen M. Sweeney and passed unanimously three days later.

The bill recognizes the number of massacre survivors who left India for the United States and established communities in cities like Fremont, Fresno, New York, Philadelphia and Yuba City, among others. About 100,000 Sikhs reside in New Jersey. itself, representing about one-fifth of the Sikh population in the United States.

“Recognizing the state-sponsored violence that targeted Sikhs across India in 1984 is an important and historic step towards justice, accountability and reconciliation, which should be an example for other governments,” the statement said. resolution, while noting that the Indian government and the police themselves have not done enough to make amends.

Sweeney’s bill lists the death toll from the 1984 massacre at more than 30,000, a figure well above the roughly 3,000 claimed by the Indian government. The resolution also acknowledges the mass rapes of Sikh women that took place during the riots.

The resolution was also passed amid growing threats against Sikhs in India, including some directly invoking the 1984 genocide. Sikh Americans have also been frequent targets of hate crimes in the United States and Canada.

New Jersey now joins California, Connecticut and Pennsylvania in officially acknowledging the violence of the 1984 riots. The Canadian province of Ontario, home to many Sikhs, has also recognized the genocide.

Image selected via Wikimedia Commons/Rob Croes/Anefo

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