Ontario assembly calls 1984 riots as ‘genocide’; India rejects

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Ontario assembly calls 1984 riots as ‘genocide’; India rejects

New Delhi, Apr 7 (PTI) The Legislative assembly of Ontario has passed a motion describing the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as “genocide” in India, which has strongly rejected the move terming it as “misguided”.

An upset India has also taken up the matter with the Canadian leadership, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay.

“We have noted the passage of a Private Members’ Motion in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on April 6. We reject this misguided Motion which is based on a limited understanding of India, its constitution, society, ethos, rule of law and the judicial process.”

“Our views have been conveyed to the government and political leadership in Canada,” he said. However, the spokesperson did not give further details.

He was replying to a question regarding passage of a private members’ motion in the legislative assembly of Ontario.

The motion by Harinder Malhi, a Liberal member of provincial parliament, read “That, in the opinion of this House… should reaffirm our commitment to the values we cherish – justice, human rights and fairness – and condemn all forms of communal violence, hatred, hostility, prejudice, racism and intolerance in India and anywhere else in the world, including the 1984 Genocide perpetrated against the Sikhs throughout India, and call on all sides to embrace truth, justice and reconciliation.”

According to reports, the motion was passed with 34 MPPs voting in favour and just five against.

The 1984 anti-Sikh riots occurred in the wake of assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. While official Indian government reports put the death toll at about 2,800 deaths across India, including 2,100 in Delhi, other independent sources estimate the number of deaths to be around 8,000 including at least 3,000 in Delhi.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.