Sikh Community Representatives at California State Senate

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California State Assembly Recognizes
Responsibility of the
Government
of India in the 1984 Genocide of Sikhs

California State Capitol, Sacramento, CA (4/30/15) – The California State Senate unanimously affirmed the recent action of the State Assembly by remembering the victims of the November 1984 Genocide of Sikhs in India and clearly describing the role of the Indian government in the massacre.  (The press release for the prior vote is available at this link: Assembly Press Release

Senator Cathleen Galgiani (Stockton-Turlock) submitted the resolution (ACR 34) in the Senate, saying, "Over 3,000 Sikhs were killed throughout India.  Government and law enforcement officials organized, participated in and failed to intervene to prevent the killings of innocent Sikhs.  Individuals and organizations throughout the world, recognizing the need for justice, continue to demand prosecution of those responsible.  It is important to remember these human rights violations to ensure that they are not repeated." 
 
Senator Pan (Sacramento-Elk Grove-Lodi) also supported the resolution, saying "This is a shameful chapter in history.  We need to stand up against it.  We need to be sure that they are remembered."
 
Senator Neilsen spoke fondly of the Sikh community in Yuba City and said, "Savage and brutal violence was visited upon Sikhs throughout India.  It is very important for us to acknowledge this tragedy."
 
"ACR 34, passed by both houses of the State Legislature, represents the first time that any nation or government has officially described the culpability of the Indian government in this genocide," explained Amar Shergill, attorney and American Sikh PAC board member.  "Indian officials and police officers led the way in the rape, torture and murder of thousands of Sikhs just a few miles from the prime minister’s residence.   Even today, Christians, Muslims, Dalits and Sikhs are at risk.  The time has come for the Indian government to admit its culpability and make a commitment to protect all of India’s minority communities.”
 
The resolution remembers those that lost their lives and those that stood in defense of Sikhs during the massacres.  It further states that “government and law enforcement officials organized, participated in, and failed to intervene to prevent the killings.”  
 
American Sikh Political Action Committee (PAC) wrote and sponsored the resolution as a means to honor the victims and those that stood with Sikhs during that difficult time.  The PAC has been increasingly active in California politics through fundraising, education and legislative campaigns.
 
Representing the official position of the citizens of California, the resolution remembers the victims of the genocide and those that fought against it, “Many Sikh lives were saved from the massacre by compassionate Indians of all religious backgrounds who put their own lives at risk by providing shelter to their Sikh friends and neighbors.”  The Senate welcomed Sikhs from across Northern California, including representation from Sikh Temples in Stockton, Yuba City, Roseville, Sacramento, Tracy, Turlock, Fremont and many others.
 
Mikey Singh Hothi, District Director for Assemblymember Cooper, was instrumental in ensuring that all legislative obstacles were quickly overcome and that ACR 34 received a full and open hearing.  The American Punjabi Chamber of Commerce, led by Bhajan Bhinder and Mike Boparai, assisted in lobbying assemblymembers, as did Ruby Singh Dhaliwal, Mayor of San Joaquin, and Aman Singh Gahoonia of Rocklin.
 
The video of the entire legislative session is available at this link: http://senate.ca.gov/media-archive  (go to 2:01)
 
The full text of the resolution, along with relevant links, is provided at www.americansikhpac.us. For further information contact Amar Shergill at americansikhpac@gmail.com. 
 
American Sikh PAC is a state-registered political action committee.  The organization encourages Sikhs to take an active role in the public and civic affairs of California.  www.facebook.com/AmericanSikhPAC.
 

 




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