WSO Saddened By Violence at Darbar Sahib Complex

Ottawa (June 6, 2014):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada is saddened by the clash today at Sri Darbar Sahib (The Golden Temple) in Amritsar where several individuals were injured.

Sikhs around the world are marking the 30th anniversary of the Indian army’s brutal assault on the Sri Darbar Sahib in June 1984. According to reports, the clash occurred during a memorial service for the innocent victims of the attack and several individuals were injured by large swords used in the melee. It remains unclear what prompted the violence. 

WSO President Dr. Amritpal Singh Shergill said, “the violence that took place today at the Sri Darbar Sahib complex is tragic and has been collectively condemned by Sikhs around the world. This clash was a violation of the sanctity of the shrine. Those responsible for instigating and participating in the violence must be held accountable.  Rather than commemorating the thousands of innocent lives lost in the 1984 invasion of Sri Darbar Sahib by the Indian Army, those who resorted to violence have insulted their memory.”

WSO Vice President Kulmit Singh Sangha said, “today’s clash is deeply disappointing but it also reflects how emotional and raw the 1984 invasion of Sri Darbar Sahib remains with the Sikh community even after 30 years.  Frustration at lack of accountability and justice for the atrocities committed by the Indian Army is an ongoing reality for Sikhs.”       

The 1984 attack on Sri Darbar Sahib by the Indian army claimed the lives of thousands of innocent men, women and children and remains a sensitive issue for the Sikh community. In addition to the Sri Darbar Sahib complex, 38 other gurdwaras across Punjab were also attacked.

Despite reports of atrocities and excesses committed by the army against pilgrims and detainees, no one has ever been charged or tried for the brutal killings of civilians and pilgrims by the Indian army or for the looting and destruction of the Sikh Reference Library which contained thousands of priceless documents and manuscripts. Sikhs gather every year across the world to commemorate the attack and remember the innocent pilgrims who lost their lives. 

The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) is a non-profit international organization with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of the Sikh Diaspora, as well as to promote and advocate for the protection of human rights for all individuals, irrespective of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, and social and economic status.

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