#International Affairs
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and U.S. President Barak Obama
United States of America

On December 5th, Sikhs were attacked without provocation or warning. Police and paramilitary forces opened fire to stop Sikh protesters belonging to religious organizations marching towards a controversial anti-Sikh two-day event organized in Ludhiana by Dera Divya Jyoti of Ashutosh.

The Punjab Police did not use water cannons to stop the protesting Sikhs, did not fire rubber bullets to quell the protestors, and did not use tear gas, but resorted to firing live bullets into the protestors, killing Darshan Singh Lohara of district Ludhiana. Possibly more than nineteen people were injured, and two are in critical condition (The details of their present condition can be shared with you, if requested). The death toll is expected to increase, since there are many who have gone missing after the event, and their lives are unaccounted for.

Sikhs are particularly upset at what has been interpreted as double standards and deliberate provocation of Sikhs. Earlier, on December 3rd and 4th, there was widespread arson and violence instigated by the migrant workers in three-quarters of Ludhiana. This was permitted without any action taken by the police. However, the protest march by Sikh religious organizations was met with the use of a batons and live ammunition. After the incident, the Sikh religious organizations called for a peaceful closure in Ludhiana. Cases were registered against Ashutosh and BJP MLA Harish Bedi, who were reported to have fired shots at Sikh protesters. Meanwhile, the Punjab government recognized the seriousness of the situation and, while maintaining its solidarity towards the accused officials, ordered a magisterial probe into the incident.

Despite an indefinite curfew in the city, there has been an uproar across Punjab at the heavy handed action of the police and paramilitary forces towards the Sikhs, who were unlawfully targeted. Upon seeing footage and photographs, reports are coming in of thousands of Sikhs preparing to travel to Ludhiana to participate in further protests. Voices For Freedom, a Human Rights organization, has warned many times in the last few months that if the Government of India continues to sponsor and support heretic cults, who are hell-bent on denigrating the basic postulates of Sikhism and poke fun at the Sikhs by resorting to blasphemous utterances, a civil war could arise in the state of Punjab. http://www.panthic.org/articles/5186

As (Friends of) American Sikhs, we urge you to take up this matter as our elected representative with the Foreign Secretary or the Indian authorities on our behalf. This is a serious human rights violation that requests your utmost attention. Your active role in bringing justice to thousands of Sikhs in India would surely reflect on your promise for freedom here in America. You have the power to stop unnecessary bloodshed and protect innocent citizens from unlawful discrimination and harassment.

Police and paramilitary forces open fired and killed Sikh protesters on December 5th in Ludhiana, Punjab, India. We are writing to request you to urgently raise and demand a clear justification to the matter on our behalf with the Foreign Secretary and the Indian authorities.

Sikhs living in the United States are outraged to see such incidents of police brutality and discrimination, which force us to doubt the safety of their community in India. The atmosphere of discrimination that is fostered by their central government towards their own citizens is endemic to the message of peace and unity you aspire to spread throughout the world.

Therefore, it is of an utmost importance that this issue of government issued police brutality be addressed with steadfastness by you and be brought to the attention of the International judiciary.

We bring this petition to you with sincere hope and faith. Please respond without delay.

[The Undersigned]

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The An appeal to the US President to intervene and seek justice for the unlawful killing and injuries to Sikh protestor(s) on December 5th, 2009. petition to U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and U.S. President Barak Obama was written by Jasleen and is in the category International Affairs at GoPetition.

Petition Tags

protest Ludhiyana Sikh